‘I’m allowed to have my own thoughts’: Florida Rep. Byron Donalds slams CNN’s Brianna Keilar for suggesting his support of Trump makes him ineligible to join the black caucus
- Donalds has not been included in the Congressional Black Caucus since election
- He believes his support for Donald Trump has led to his exclusion from the group
- He hit out at Brianna Keilar and said he is allowed to have his own opinions
Florida Representative Byron Donalds had a furious clash with CNN’s Brianna Keilar after the host said his ideas were ‘incongruous’ with those of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
The Republican said he is being denied entry to the Caucus because of his continued support for Donald Trump.
Keilar, hosting Thursday’s New Day, played a montage of Trump’s most controversial comments, prompting Donalds to clash with the presenter.
Florida Representative Byron Donalds had a furious clash with CNN’s Brianna Keilar after the host said his ideas were ‘incongruous’ with those of the Congressional Black Caucus
He began to explain why his support for the former president should not affect his membership of the caucus but he was interrupted by Keilar.
Donalds then retorted: ‘Please don’t cut me off. I have not cut you off in this interview. Please do not do that to me. Thank you.
‘As a black man in America, I’m allowed to have my own thoughts on who I choose to support and who I choose not to support.’
It has now been six months since the members who won election in 2020 were inducted into the supposedly nonpartisan CBC.
The Republican said he is being denied entry to the Caucus because of his continued support for Donald Trump
Donalds, who was elected for the first time last year, is yet to be included.
The Florida representative has approached members of the CBC to discuss joining the group who are leading talks on police reform and racial injustice in the US.
Donalds told CNN: ‘I have a perspective being a 42-year-old black man who has come up in America after a lot of the battles through the civil rights movement that I think would be helpful and a helpful perspective to the CBC.
‘A range of discussions from all sides of the political framework is important, not just for black America, but for all America.’
Donalds objected to Joe Biden’s election wins in Arizona and Pennsylvania and also supports voter ID laws, issues which Keilar suggested were ‘incongruent with the mission of the CBC’.
Keilar, hosting Thursday’s New Day, played a montage of Trump’s most controversial comments, prompting Donalds to clash with the presenter
The lawmaker replied: ‘If you actually look at the bills that have been passed in Florida, Georgia, actually black Americans and all Americans, whether you live in those states, have more access to the ballot, not less.
‘Those are the facts because I’ve read both bills. You say this will increase access for voters of color, for African-Americans. That’s just not true.’
Donalds has previously said he wants to join the CBC to change the group’s liberal dominance.
He believes he should not be excluded due to his political beliefs or support for Trump.
He said: ‘My support of President Trump has been consistent, but at the same time, I have had the ability to advocate for issues, ideas, proposals and funding that have helped black community in my state.
‘My support for President Trump, whether it’s for or against, is irrelevant. That has nothing to do with this discussion.
‘This is about whether the ideology of somebody who is conservative is welcome in the Congressional Black Caucus.’