- via NBA on TNT
- Charles Barkley said on Jemele Hill’s podcast that he was “snuck” into the White House for a meeting with the senior adviser Jared Kushner.
- Barkley said Kushner contacted him after learning of a donation Barkley made to an organization that helps African Americans learn trades.
- Barkley said his two demands were not to be on TV and not to meet with President Donald Trump, and he said the conversation was “great.”
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Charles Barkley has been openly critical of President Donald Trump, but he still visited the White House for a meeting with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Barkley told the story to Jemele Hill on her podcast, “Jemele Hill is Unbothered,” saying the occasion stemmed from a $1 million donation Barkley made to an organization that teaches African Americans various trades.
Barkley said he met Kushner, a senior White House adviser, at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference and exchanged contact information. He said Kushner had somehow learned about the donation and asked Barkley to come to the White House to talk about vocational schools, one of Kushner’s platforms.
“He calls me, and I said: ‘Listen, Jared. Number one, I don’t want to be on camera, I don’t want to see your father-in-law, but I’ll come to the White House if you’re serious,'” Barkley said.
Barkley said they “snuck” him into the White House and he met with Kushner to talk.
“We had a great conversation, and hopefully it will go further,” he said, adding, “I’m on my mission, and hopefully, he can help me with my mission.”
Barkley said he was inspired to donate after visiting his hometown in Alabama and struggling to find black electricians, plumbers, and more to help him renovate his house.
Barkley also said he made a similar observation while visiting schools as an NBA player and talking to children about what they wanted to be when they grew up. He said too many black kids wanted to be athletes. Barkley said the observation inspired him to make his “I am not a role model” commercial with Nike.