This is what was going to happen:Looking forward to my meeting at 2:00 P.M. with wonderful Inner City Pastors!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
"I have been here five different times in four or five months, so it was not damage control," Owens told reporters outside the Oval Office. He also said he would find it "hard to believe" that the President is a racist, considering what he claimed the President has done for the African American community.
"When you look at the opportunity zones, when you look at what he's doing for our prisoners, which is a main factor," Owens said. "The fact that he met with us today is a factor. He wanted to know from us what should he do in America."
Owens, the founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, is a long-time Trump supporter who has equated former President Barack Obama's support of same-sex marriage to supporting child molestation.
"If you watch the men who have been caught having sex with little boys, you will note that all of them will say that they were molested as a child ... " Owens said at a news conference in 2012. "For the President to condone this type of thing is irresponsible." He later walked those comments back, saying he didn't think the President was condoning molestation.
Owens said Monday the group told Trump he needs to address its racial divide.
"This country needs healing," he said. "There's so much division in America along racial lines. It's worse than it was years ago, it's worse."
The reverend did say the President was ill-informed when he told four congresswomen of color to "go back" to the countries from which they came.
"I felt that he should have more information because only one was not born in America, so that tells me he had not done his homework on that issue. But I think those four people needed to be criticized," Owens said. But he also added that sometimes, the President doesn't get enough credit.
"He's right sometimes. He's never given credit for doing anything," Owens said.
Another participant in the meeting, Alveda King, side-stepped questions from the reporters, but said that Trump is "concerned about the nation as a whole," and pointed to high employment rates in the African American community.