At the White House As Trump Addresses the Bomber

I am in Washington to attend Turning Point USA’s first-ever Young Black Leadership Summit. Today’s highlight was a visit to the White House, where President Trump addressed the group in the East Room. We arrived at the East Entrance to the White House around 9:30, started going through security at 10:00, and were in the White House proper by 10:30 or so.

The event was scheduled to begin at 11:00; in the meantime there was plenty of food:

At 11:30, Ben Carson warmed up the audience for the president. This is what a portion of the crowd in the East Room looked like as we waited for President Trump to appear. There were lots of MAGA hats in evidence, many of which Trump signed when his speech was over:

I should note that as a person who is neither young nor black, I was invited as a supporter of Turning Point. It was fun for my wife and me to be almost the only white people in the crowd, other than the press.

After Dr. Carson’s brief speech, the time dragged as we waited for President Trump. With the news that a suspect had been arrested in the bombing case, we all assumed that the delay was caused by the president being briefed on the arrest and preparing a statement about it. This turned out to be the case, and it gave our event considerably more news value. There were lots of cameras present, and Drudge ran a live feed of Trump’s speech, which began at 12:30.

Trump got a rapturous reception from the Turning Point audience, which sometimes bordered on the rowdy, to the president’s evident delight. He began by acknowledging the arrest of the bombing suspect, whom he did not name. Nor did he comment on the partisan dimension of the bomb story. He praised law enforcement for speedily solving the crime and denounced political violence. He said that the Republican Party is the party of unity for all Americans.

The crowd at the Turning Point summit is the Left’s worst nightmare–hundreds of young, articulate, thoughtful African-American conservatives. We chatted with some of them, mostly students from colleges across the country–a math major from Stanford, a filmmaker from Columbia, a political science major from DePaul. They sounded like pretty much any group of conservatives at a Trump rally: “USA! USA!” “Build that wall!” “Trump! Trump!” In short, it was fun.

This is the first couple of minutes when Trump emerges to shouts of “USA!” and begins his speech by talking about the bomber:

The Young Black Leadership Summit continues with a dinner tonight and a full slate of programs tomorrow and Sunday.

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