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Steve Harvey isn’t going to let the “vicious” backlash get in his way of helping the Trump administration in its Housing and Urban Development efforts.
The game show host and comedian revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he has met with HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson to discuss repurposing closed city schools into what he called vision centers, teaching children STEM subjects and computer programming.
“I’ve been to HUD twice,” Harvey told THR. “I’ve met with Dr. Carson and we’re actually trying to get it started. We’ve had meetings, and now we’re just waiting on the final notes. We have several teams in place. Hopefully before the year goes out, we’ll be making the announcement about the first vision center.”
The 60 year-old star had offered his services to the incoming Trump administration during a meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Harvey shared that he talked to Trump about golf and admitted that he was a Hillary Clinton supporter before offering his help.
"I stepped from behind my microphone and I came and talked to the guy who is going to be the 45th president," Steve Harvey said pic.twitter.com/d1NxXYHvoI
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 13, 2017
“You’ve appointed Ben Carson as the head of Housing and Urban Development, and I’ve got keys to a lot of cities around this country from the years of performing that I’ve done. I can get an ear to them really quick and find out what their real needs are,” Harvey said he told Trump. “Y’all keep closing schools in the cities. Why don’t we take those schools that are closing, put some HUD money in them, and reopen them as vision centers and teach STEM and computers and coding? If you connect me with Ben Carson, I can help him with that.”
Harvey revealed that “a few minutes later, he had Ben Carson on the phone.”
A few months later, Harvey told TMZ that he felt the president was “keeping his word.”
The “Steve Harvey Show” star went ahead with the promised assistance even though he faced severe blowback for his meeting with Trump, whom he said he hasn’t talked to since January.
“The backlash. It was so vicious that it really threw me. I was being called names that I’ve never been called: Uncle Tom. A coon. A sellout. Because I went to see this man?!” he said. “The Obama team said they thought it would be a good idea because the president is encouraging dialogue. And I have a relationship with Obama. We’re friends. So I say, ‘OK, cool.’”
Harvey added that his wife suggested he should reschedule that meeting since he was supposed to be on a boat for his 60th birthday.
“God, I should’ve listened,” he said.