Cong. Black Caucus Chair: Trump's Civil Rights hire is 'a slap in the face'


Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), the 43 year-old newly elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, is unafraid to call things as they are. And he has some strong words for Donald Trump and Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.

When made to testify at the end of Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Session's confirmation hearing, along with civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) said it was "the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus." Now Richmond is calling out Donald Trump's new hire at the Civil Rights Division for the Department of Justice.

Richmond's statement on the announcement of John Gore to be Deputy Assistant Attorney General is pointed and powerful:

President Trump's pick for a senior leadership position in the civil rights division of DOJ is a slap in the face to what the division has represented for 50 years," said Rep. Richmond. "Starting with his nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, the President has sent a clear message that he intends to trample on the rights of minority groups and leave no place for recourse."

The full statement is here:


Richmond's hometown paper has the background on Gore's record. As the Times-Picayune details, he is a defender of "Republican-led efforts to enact voter ID laws, purge voter rolls and carve politically partisan voting districts across the country — challenges that originated in the Civil Rights Division:"

Gore defended Republicans' 2011 redistricting in Virginia that packed African American voters into one congressional district around the city of Richmond. A decision in a federal lawsuit threw out the new map because lawmakers had focused too much on race when they drew it up.

Gore has fought for similar redistricting efforts in New York, South Carolina and Florida.

In another major civil rights case, Gore unsuccessfully defended Florida Gov. Rick Scott's 2012 decision to purge a vast number of people from the state's voter rolls.

Gore was also famous for successfully defending the University of North Carolina against a federal lawsuit that challenged the state law forcing transgender people to use bathrooms assigned to the gender on their birth certificates.

In the nascent Trump era, civil rights are already under grave threat. And Richmond is sounding the alarm.