Steve Harvey is opening up about that awkward exchange he had with former President Donald Trump back in 2017. The daytime talk show host and television personality was public enemy number one for a brief moment when people thought he was endorsing the notoriously divisive Trump at the start of his presidency. Let’s take a look back at that moment and hear what Harvey has to say so many years later.
Back in 2016, during the transition of power, Steve Harvey says he was invited to a meeting with incoming president Donald Trump by outgoing president Barak Obama. Steve Harvey was initially hesitant about taking the meeting and was unsure if it was a good idea following his public endorsement of Hilary Clinton. Harvey eventually came around to it in hopes of being able to have a discussion about housing in the “hood” with the new head of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. Harvey’s goal was to pitch a project of his called Vision Centers, which would teach life skills, coding, and science to the inner city youth while providing financial skills to the parents.
Steve went to Trump Towers to discuss this initiative which he claims Trump and Carson loved. As Harvey made his way out following their meeting, he was blindsided by Trump who followed him to the elevator to ride down together. As soon as they emerged on the ground floor, Trump and Harvey were met with paparazzi who immediately began flashing pictures. Trump took the opportunity with Harvey present to mislead people into thinking Harvey was a supporter by calling Harvey a “good friend.” Even worst, he used the photo opp as a chance to unveil that he would be ending Obamacare. Harvey was mortified and recalled feeling, “this ain’t got nothing to do with me.” However, he would go on to defend his meeting in follow-up interviews claiming that he felt Trump really wanted to make a difference and that he walked away from their meeting feeling good.
While Carson and Trump would eventually honor their meeting with Harvey and open a Vision Center in Carson’s home state of Michigan, Harvey was left to defend himself from people believing he was a Trump supporter for most of Trump’s presidency. One woman tweeted back in 2020, “I’ll be really happy when November ends so that people can stop lecturing people about voting. Steve Harvey took a whole job with Donald Trump at the beginning of his term and is now on my mama’s radio every damn morning yelling, “YOU GOTTA VOTE TRUMP OUTTA OFFICE!” Another said, “Let me get this straight Steve Harvey visits newly elected President Donald Trump and gets totally disrespected on social media by Blacks, then turns around three years later and insults Terrence K Williams for his White House Speech,” following Harvey’s criticism of Williams in 2021.
Harvey is well aware of the blowback and says that he was “called everything but a child of God.” According to Steve Harvey, he did not even vote for Trump and did not understand all the anger towards him. In a recent discussion with the Washington Post he claims he could not even celebrate the win of opening a Vision Center because he worried that Trump or Carson would try to trick him into another back publicity stunt. “I’ll never give them that photo opp,” He told the publication.