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No, An Ohio Pastor Won't Actually Be Brokering A Deal Between Trump & Chicago Gang Leaders

By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Feb 2, 2017 6:16PM

Darrell Scott, Senior Pastor of New Spirit Revival Center Ministries, delivers a speech at the Republican National Convention (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Darrell Scott, a pastor in Ohio and a loyal and high-profile black supporter of Donald Trump, walked back his vow to broker a deal between the president and Chicago gang leaders.

Chicago was on the agenda Wednesday at a White House listening session to kick off Black History Month. Trump reiterated his desire to "do something" about Chicago, and Scott offered up his own plan. He said "top gang thugs in Chicago" who "respect" and "believe in" the Trump administration had offered have a sit down. Scott said these "thugs" would commit to "lower that body count" in exchange for social programs.

Scott also said these so-called thugs are looking forward to the Trump era: "They didn't believe in the prior administration. They told me this out of their mouths."

Scott was hammered for his remarks, mostly by Chicagoans who have been paying attention to the problem since long before it became a conservative talking point. Scott then admitted to Yahoo! that he "misspoke:"

"Now let me say this: I misspoke somewhat when I said gang thugs. Let’s say former gang thugs, former gang thugs, but these gentlemen still have their hands on the pulse of the street. They still have very highly respected voices in the community. They have a great degree of influence in the community and on the streets. So, they’re not current gang thugs. They’re former gang thugs, but they once again still have a voice in the streets. I want to make that plain. Their words carry weight.”

Scott said he wanted to work "synergistically" with the community on "urban redevelopment," "social programs" and "training for jobs and life skills." He added, "I believe that they see that the Trump administration is a very proactive administration and Trump has a lot of swag, and we can identify with it. I identify with it, and we’re going to get together and we’re going to make something happen." He said that Rahm Emanuel would be brought into discussions about these "ambitious" programs later.

Yesterday Emanuel responded to Trump's remarks vowing to send feds in, calling his bluff. He said that he would be perfectly happy for the Trump administration to send in more federal resources. He added that he's asked the previous administration for more resources, particularly for summer job programs, mentoring and investing in neighborhoods. He said he would look forward to receiving more help from this administration, according to CBS Chicago.

“Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents. We don’t have to talk about it anymore. Just send them," the mayor said. "Invest in law enforcement with our Police Department. Every major city has to do more. Move more FBI, DEA, ATF. They do a great job. Use the ability to prosecute gun crimes at the federal level, and maximize that potential."

Community activist poured water on the idea that these former gang members could do much:

Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, who has worked tirelessly on anti-violence and community-building efforts on the South Side, blasted Scott.

“I guess the first thing is where’s he been and who is he?” Father Pfleger told WGN. “Where’s he been while we’ve been fighting this thing for years? Where has this pastor been and why hasn’t anybody heard about him?”

He added, "If you care about this, how come you haven’t done anything about this until now and you’re sitting at breakfast with Donald Trump? How much money is involved?”

Scott was taken aback by the blowback to his remarks. Taking a page out of Trump's playbook, he sent out a bunch of tweets lamenting how misunderstood he is: