FOX 32 NEWS - An Ohio pastor told FOX 32 that he "misspoke" at the White House. He created a national sensation by telling President Trump Wednesday that Chicago gang leaders would "lower the body count" if given new federal programs.
FOX 32: So, there are no gang leaders offering to reduce the body count in exchange for federal funds?
"No! I mean, c'mon now! (laughs) No!" Pastor Darrell Scott said.
Rev. Darrell Scott was laughing about it Wednesday night. A few hours earlier, though, the Cleveland Heights, Ohio, pastor told President Trump that Chicago's "top gang thugs" wanted him to pass along a sensational offer.
"They're going to commit that if they lower the body count, we come and do some social programs," Scott said.
"If they're not going to solve the problems, what you're doing is the right thing, then we're going to solve the problem for them. Because we're going to have to do something about Chicago. 'Cause what's happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country," Trump responded.
"They want to work with this administration," Scott added.
"Good," Trump said.
"I'm tired of him trivializing this in these tweets and being this obsession with Chicago and doin' nothin," Father Michael Pfleger said. "This is too serious to be making crazy comments at a White House black history celebration. This is an insult to Chicago."
Father Pfleger urged the president to deliver on all his previous promises.
"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now," Trump had previously said.
FOX 32 asked one of Chicago's smartest anti-violence crusaders what he would tell the president if he were invited to the White House.
"I'd tell him that we can't just look in one area. When you look at public safety, it's linked to public health. It's linked to education. It's linked to a whole number of things. It's linked to jobs," said Christopher Mallette, Executive Director of Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy.
"Before we start talking about creating jobs, before we start talking about all these other things, before we implement them, we need to reduce that body count," Pastor Scott told FOX 32.
Pastor Darrell Scott also told FOX 32 a lack of sleep caused him to tell President Trump that Chicago gangs had offered to "lower the body count." He said he actually spoke to one former gang member, and not to any gang leaders.