Man Trump Called 'My African American' Leaving GOP, Says Party Pursuing 'Pro-White' Agenda

Gregory Cheadle, the man whom Trump referred to as "my African American" back in 2016, said he is leaving the Republican party due to his frustration with what he called the party's "pro-white agenda." The five-time Congressional candidate joined the Republican party in 2001, but said he'd be continue on as an independent.

The real estate broker from Redding, California, told PBS Newshour that he believes "President Trump is a rich guy who is mired in white privilege to the extreme," but is even more concerned with the Republican party's willingness to defend his actions.

Cheadle said the issue came to a head when Republicans were quick to defend Trump's tweets in July telling four female Representatives who are U.S. citizens to go back where they came from.

Trump Campaign rally 2016
Trump at a campaign rally in Sacramento, CA on June 1, 2016. Later that week, at a rally in Redding, CA, Trump referred to Gregory Cheadle as "my African American." Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty

"They were sidestepping the people of color issues and saying that, 'No, its not racist,'" he said about members of the Republican party. "And I thought this is a classic case of whites not seeing racism because they want to put blinders on and make it about something else."

Cheadle announced that he will be running for the House of Representatives in 2020 as an independent in California's first congressional district, which has had a Republican representative since 2013. Critics of Cheadle and the Republican party have pointed out that his track record as a Trump supporter challenges his credibility in the upcoming campaign.He acknowledged that he may have waited too long, but said he was holding out hope that there would be movement on campaign promises to address issues relevant to black voters.

Gregory Cheadle, the black man Trump once described as "my African American," is fed up.

Cheadle told PBS NewsHour he's leaving the Republican party. He said he sees the GOP as pursuing a "pro-white" agenda and using black people as "political pawns." https://t.co/2JnLfcw8Lr

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 12, 2019

At a campaign rally back in 2016, Trump pointed to Cheadle in the crowd and said, "Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?"

Some called out the president's comments as racist, but Cheadle admitted he was "thrilled" with the recognition of black voters. "The overwhelming majority of people felt offense, which kind of startled me," he told CNN at the time. "Wow, we're so polarized and sensitive in this country now. It's frightening."

His opinion of the incident has since changed. "I'm more critical of it today than I was back then because today I wonder to what extent he said that for political gain or for attention," he said to PBS Newshour.

Despite Cheadle's criticism of Trump and the Republican party, he stopped short of describing the president as "racist," but said he believed he has a "white superiority complex," especially when it comes to judicial nominations, which have been 91% white according to the Associated Press. He says in 2020 he will support any candidate that will help African Americans, irrelevant of party.