Donald Trump's comments about barring Muslims from the U.S. crossed a line, even for him.
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images
By Tom Huddleston Jr.
November 30, 2015

Donald Trump cancelled a Monday news conference his campaign had originally touted as a platform for a group of 100 black evangelical pastors and religious leaders to endorse the Republican presidential candidate.

Trump will instead meet in private with the black clergy members after many from the group publicly denied that they’d ever intended to endorse the billionaire real estate mogul and former reality television star, according to the Associated Press. One of the clergy members, Ohio pastor Darrell Scott, told the AP over the weekend that the Trump campaign’s initial news release announcing the event as an endorsement of Trump was “a miscommunication.”

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told a number of media outlets in a statement that the meeting is still happening today and that the campaign expects endorsements from some of the attendees. Hicks did not immediately respond to Fortune‘s request for comment.

The cancellation of the news conference also comes after a group of black religious leaders, academics, and writers penned an open letter to Ebony in which they criticized the coalition’s plans to endorse Trump, who has angered a variety of minority groups with comments he has made while campaigning for the White House. The letter claimed that “Trump routinely uses overtly divisive and racist language” as part of his campaign and that the billionaire’s “racially inaccurate, insensitive and incendiary rhetoric should give those charged with the care of the spirits and souls of Black people great pause.”

Earlier this month, several Trump supporters at a campaign event reportedly had a physical altercation with a protester with the Black Lives Matter movement who interrupted the event. Afterward, Trump said of the protester: “Maybe he should have been roughed up.” Trump was also criticized recently for re-tweeting an image with inaccurate statistics that misrepresented the amount of violent crimes committed by black people.

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