Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud of President Trump if the slain civil rights leader was still alive, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in an interview airing Wednesday.
Mr. Bannon made the remark in a sit-down interview filmed Tuesday in Prague for the BBC’s “Newsnight” program, The Hill first reported.
“Martin Luther King would be proud of him — what he’s done for the black and Hispanic community for jobs,” Mr. Bannon said of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Bannon reiterated his claim moments later after being asked to clarify by the interviewer.
“You think Martin Luther King would be proud of Donald Trump as president?” asked the BBC’s Emily Maitlis.
“His economic policies to black — by the way, its the lowest unemployment in recorded history,” Mr. Bannon said. “You don’t think Martin Luther King wouldn’t be proud? Look at the unemployment we had in the black community five years ago.”
Indeed, black unemployment levels reached record lows after Mr. Trump took office in 2017. The president’s approval rating among blacks has been in the single digits throughout much of his administration, however, and only 7.7 percent of black respondents said they approved of Mr. Trump’s job performance as of late March, according to Reuters polling.
Mr. Bannon, 64, served as the president’s chief strategist from January to August 2017. He previously held the position of chief executive of the 2016 Trump campaign after spending five years as chairman of Breitbart News.