Jacob Blake's father has revealed that his family does not have a pastor despite President Donald Trump's claims that he had recently spoken to the family's pastor. The president made those remarks when speaking with reporters Monday ahead of his upcoming visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, during which he will not meet with the Blake family because he said they wanted to involve lawyers.
According to Trump, he "spoke with the pastor," whom he called a "wonderful man." Although he didn't divulge the details of the alleged conversation, he claimed that they had "a great talk." Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr., however, later told CNN that he was unsure of who the president had spoken to. According to Blake Sr., "we don't have a family pastor."
The family's legal team, including civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, later provided clarification. Speaking with CNN's Jim Acosta on The Situation Room, Crump explained that the president had reached out to the pastor of Blake's mother, Julia Jackson, "to arrange a phone conversation with her," according to The Hill. Crump said that the pastor had "appropriately referred the White House to the legal team, but, as President Trump acknowledged during his televised briefing, he declined to have a call if Ms. Jackson’s legal team monitored the call."
During his Monday remarks, the president said that he would not be speaking with the Blake family due to their desire to have lawyers involved. He said the request "inappropriate, so I didn't do that." He said that he did give the family "my best regards."
Crump said that he didn't "know why the President wouldn't want the family to have their lawyers on the phone," as Trump "seems to have lawyers with him when he talks to people." He said that "if the call had occurred, Ms. Jackson was prepared to ask President Trump to watch the video of Mr. Blake's shooting and to do what she has asked all of America to do – examine your heart."
Blake's uncle, meanwhile, said that the 29-year-old's father "has no interest in speaking with President Trump." Blake Sr.'s only interest at the moment is his son's well-being and getting justice.
Trump is expected to visit Kenosha on Tuesday. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that "currently the plans are to meet with local law enforcement and some business owners, and he'll survey the damage. But there will be more detailed plans forthcoming when they're announced." A number of state and local officials have advised against his visit, saying they fear his presence will only serve to further stoke division.