Donald Trump’s son-in-law was quickly criticised by Democrats.
Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, has suggested black Americans need to want to be more successful in order for the US president’s policies to help them.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Mr Kushner talked about Mr Trump’s “platinum plan” to create jobs and opportunities for the black community if he is re-elected on 3 November.
“One thing that we have seen in a lot of the black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about,” Mr Kushner said.
“But he can’t want them to be successful more than that they want to be successful.
“What you’re seeing throughout the country now is groundswell support in the community because they are realising all the different bad things media said about President Trump is not true. They’re seeing he’s actually delivered.”
While Mr Trump lost among black voters by about 82 percentage points in the 2016 election, he has reportedly closed the gap in support to around 71 points this year, according to a recent analysis of polling data by FiveThirtyEight.com.
Mr Kushner’s remarks drew swift criticism from Democrats.
Virginia Congressman Don Beyer accused him of “casual racism” and California representative Barbara Lee said he was “the face of white privilege and nepotism”.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued a statement defending Mr Kushner, saying his remarks had been taken out of context by “internet trolls”.
In the same Fox News interview, Mr Kushner criticised athletes and others who protested against racism on social media and on the sporting field.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about the issues that were needed in the black community for the last few years but particularly, it intensified after the George Floyd situation,” he said.
Mr Floyd was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in May, sparking worldwide protests over racial inequality and a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“And, you know, you saw a lot of people who were just virtue signalling. They’d go on Instagram and cry or they would put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court. And quite frankly, that was doing more to polarise the country than it was to bring people forward.
“You solve problems with solutions.”
During last week’s final presidential debate, Mr Trump said he had done the most for the black community for any US president since Abraham Lincoln.
Additional reporting by Reuters.