- In a live interview on CNN Monday, Jacob Blake’s father refuted President Donald Trump’s account of the White House trying to get the Blake family on the phone.
- Less than an hour earlier, Trump said during his press briefing that he was unable to get in touch with the Blakes because “they wanted to have lawyers involved, and I thought that was inappropriate so I didn’t do that. But I did speak with the pastor of the family.”
- White House Senior Communications Adviser Ben Williamson tweeted, “The President was referring to the pastor of Julia Jackson—Jacob Blake’s mother.”
- The family’s attorney later said the president reached out to Jacob Blake’s mother’s pastor and Trump declined to have a call if their legal team monitored it.
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Minutes after President Donald Trump explained why he wasn’t able to get on the phone with Jacob Blake’s family, Jacob Blake Sr. refuted the president’s stated reason.
Thousands of Americans have been protesting against police brutality and racism anew after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on August 23. He is paralyzed from the waist down, and the officer is on administrative leave while the state Department of Justice investigates.
Earlier on Monday evening, Trump said from behind the White House lectern during a press briefing that the Blake family “wanted to have lawyers involved,” so the president ended up speaking to the “family pastor” instead.
“We don’t have a family pastor,” Blake Sr. said on CNN when host Jim Acosta asked why Trump claimed he spoke with a pastor and not the family.
—Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) August 31, 2020
Blake Sr. was adamant that he did not want to “play politics” with his son’s life, later adding, along with his lawyer, that he and his family received threats deemed serious enough that they had to temporarily relocate.
Benjamin Crump, the family attorney, told Acosta that the White House had been coordinating with Blake’s mother and a pastor for her family to work out a phone call with the president.
“But for some reason,” Crump said, “the call never came.”
—🇺🇸 MrRuffin ♌️ (@MrRuffin_) August 31, 2020
After the CNN interview aired, White House senior communications adviser Ben Williamson tweeted, “The President was referring to the pastor of Julia Jackson—Jacob Blake’s mother.”
The Blake family legal team later released a statement saying Trump had reached out to Jackson’s pastor, and the president declined to have a call if the family’s legal team monitored it.
“If the call had occurred, Ms. Jackson was prepared to ask President Trump to watch the video of Mr. Blake’s shooting and to do what she has asked all of America to do — examine your heart,” the statement on Crump’s Twitter account said.
—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 1, 2020
“I’m sorry I missed your call,” she said on CNN, addressing Trump. “Because had I not missed your call maybe the comments that you made would have been different and I’m not mad at you at all.”
Jackson said she has the “utmost respect” for the president, adding: “Like I said before, and I’m not saying this to him directly, we should always get the details from the right source before we start throwing bricks.”
Trump is expected to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, despite Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ request for the president to reconsider.
“I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing,” Evers wrote in a letter to the White House on Sunday. “I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”