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Trump Kicks Off Black History Month with White House 'Listening Session'

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on African American History Month in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 1, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump kicked off Black History Month in the United States with what the White House called a "listening session" with representatives of the African American community.

Trump hosted the session in the White House Cabinet Room. Most of those in attendance were supporters who helped work on the president's campaign and Trump's nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson.

The president read a list of his priorities for addressing problems facing African American communities and inner cities.

"We’re gonna need better schools and we need ‘em soon. We need more jobs, we need better wages - a lot better wages. We’re gonna work very hard on the inner city; Ben’s [Carson] gonna be doing that, bigly," Trump said. "We need safer communities and we’re going to do that with law enforcement. We’re gonna make it safe; we’re gonna make it much better than it is right now. Right now it's terrible."

One of those at the table with Trump was Reverend Darrell Scott, a Cleveland pastor who has been an active supporter of the president.

Scott said he had been approached by representatives of a street gang in Chicago and that he wants to sit down to discuss the issue of street violence with representatives of the Trump administration.

Trump has used street violence in Chicago consistently as an example of what he has called "carnage" in America's inner cities.