Trump, according to a half dozen people in the room, said that the HBCU leaders made up the largest group he’d seen in the room.
“You people are doing an amazing job,” four people in the room recalled Trump saying. Two of them said Trump repeated the complimentary refrain three times. They all said the comments raised eyebrows, and it was discussed afterward even as others just said it was Trump being Trump.
It was “very insensitive,” one of the college presidents said, but added that while the phrase irked him and his colleagues, it also struck him as “very Trump-ish.”
One college president from a Southern state said they heard the president make the “you people” comment but said that he was hardened to such sayings after growing up in the Jim Crow South.
“I’ve heard a lot worse than that, and I mean a lot worse,” the college president from the Southern state told BuzzFeed News. “I’m sure if you’re from the North or whatever you might be offended by something like that.”
“I was waiting on him to say something worse.”