Trump taps Steve Harvey to bring change to Chicago, other cities
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President-elect Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson reached out Friday for help battling the problems facing Chicago and other inner cities — enlisting “King of Comedy” Steve Harvey.
“We’re gonna team up and see if we can bring about some positive change in the inner cities, which I felt was my only agenda,” Harvey told reporters.
“He agreed, and he wants to do something. And he realizes that he needs some allies in that department. He seemed really sincere about it.”
Trump met with the comedian, game show host and radio personality at Trump Tower in New York on Friday, but offered no details on the meeting.
“He’s a great friend of ours,” the president-elect told reporters. “Everybody knows Steve Harvey. Everyone having fun? Steve just came up to say hello.”
After Trump walked away, Harvey told reporters that he came to meet with the newly elected president at the request of Trump’s and Obama’s “transition teams.”
Harvey, who turns 60 on Tuesday, endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton last year and came under fire over allegations his staff provided her advance questions before a February interview on his radio show.
The entertainer said Trump introduced him to Carson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development. And they discussed help for the inner cities.
“Chicago being one?” a reporter asked.
“Chicago is definitely one,” Harvey said. “Another one they want to start with as a target is Detroit. Ben Carson expressed that because quite naturally he is from Detroit. I want to do something with all of the major inner cities to see if we can bring about some change and help some of these young people out. And so that’s why I’m here, and it was a successful meeting. And he seemed really sincere.”
Harvey, who grew up in Cleveland, provided no details of what that help might entail, but suggested it could be similar to mentoring programs he is already involved in.
“We had a great conversation. We’re gonna get some things started. They have a plan for the inner cities, but they need help. And so that’s why they called me. So, we’ll see what I can do.”
Harvey laughed off suggestions that he was jumping into politics.
“It’s not my jump into politics,” he said. “I ain’t gonna pass a background check.”
“But it’s just me following orders from my friend President Obama who said ‘Steve, you’ve got to’ — as he told everybody — ‘get out from behind your computers, stop tweeting and texting and get out there and sit down and talk. So I stepped from behind my microphone and I came and talked to the guy that’s going to be the 45th president of the United States.
“I did what I was supposed to do.”
“It’s an honor to be invited to talk, and I think that’s the only way that we’re going to unify our country. We’ve got to talk.”
Harvey, — who hosted the national “Kings of Comedy” tour with Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and the late Bernie Mac — said the high-level meeting did include some lighter moments, particularly when he and Trump laughed about one another’s golf scores.
Harvey himself laughed when a reporter asked if he’s hoping to get the president-elect’s family on “Family Feud.”
“The Trumps being on ‘Family Feud’?” Harvey said.
“Yeah, against the Obamas. That’d be good. Or how about the Clintons? If I could set it up, it’d be skyrocketing for the ratings.”