On Saturday, senior adviser for Trump's 2020 campaign Katrina Pierson defended the lack of Black staffers in the White House by asking if Abraham Lincoln had Black people in his administration.
Pierson, who also worked on Trump's 2016 campaign, appeared on MSNBC's Politics Nation with Al Sharpton with Media Matters for America founder David Brock on March 9. During the show, Sharpton challenged the two to name one Black staffer currently serving in the West Wing, which sent Pierson into a fit.
“Everything has to be made about race, reverend... I’m not going to participate if you’re going to continue to paint this president as racist. Let's talk about reparations, can we talk about reparations?” Pierson replied.
When Sharpton pivoted the conversation towards Brock and asked how Trump can "ask for Black votes" without having any Black people in the White House, Pierson interjected, "there's plenty of Black people in the West Wing."
"Well, I asked you to name them, and you started telling me, you turned down," responded Sharpton.
“Because I’m not going to participate in the attempt to make this all about race," Pierson began adding, "It is ridiculous. How many Black people were in Abraham Lincoln’s West Wing?”
Pierson then continued, "Is Abraham Lincoln a racist because he didn't have a Black person in his White House? This is insane. This is an insane discussion."
“You can’t name a Black in the West Wing because we can’t find one, Katrina,” Sharpton fired back. “I pity you. I’d sympathize with you, but telling me you applied, and other people? Come on. It’s unthinkable in the 21st century that even a spokesperson for President Trump can’t name a Black in the West Wing."
Later on, Brock mentioned how the lack of diversity inside the White House pales in comparison to the diverse group of Democratic candidates already in the running for president in 2020.