Confusion. Frenzy. And Then Trump Appeared.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.06.23 PMMAGGIE HABERMAN & JOHN CORRALES

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Good Tuesday morning. The uncertainty and excitement in the buildup to a meeting on Monday between Donald J. Trump and a group of black leaders helped create a flurry of news media, pedestrians and onlookers outside the venue, a scene telling in its reflection of Mr. Trumps style. Mr. Trump’s campaign aides may have canceled his news conference announcing endorsements from black pastors. But he rarely lets an opportunity to speak to the news media go to waste, and he did not disappoint on Monday afternoon.

It was a perfect distillation of covering Mr. Trump for the reporters who have followed him for months.

No one was certain he would speak. Not the reporters. Not the tourists asking the reporters who they were waiting for.

Mr. Trump was inside with a group of black pastors and leaders in a meeting that his campaign said last week would end with full endorsements and a news conference.On Sunday, however, the campaign said that the meeting would be closed to the news media after some invitees said they had not made up their minds on endorsing. So no news conference, his team said.
But the microphones stood ready, nevertheless.
Movement inside. A woman emerged to say the meeting should be over in five minutes. Five minutes later, a man came out of the door to say that the pastors were in the lobby. The reporters and photographers rushed inside.
Darrell Scott, an organizer for the meeting, stood near the middle of the lobby alongside Cindy Trimm, a pastor. Reporters surrounded them.
“We walked away with a conclusion that Mr. Trump is, in fact, hoping to build cultures of empowerment in the minority community,” Mrs. Trimm said.
Mr. Scott said, “We asked questions, and the questions were all answered.”
“We had a wonderful time and wonderful dialogue,” he added.
Then Mr. Trump appeared. He joined the gaggle with a seeming air of confidence that the pastors were speaking highly of the meeting. Omarosa Manigault, a contestant on the first season of Mr. Trump’s “The Apprentice” reality television show who is now an ordained minister, stood beside him.
“We actually didn’t think we were going to be having a press conference, but we all thought it was such a good meeting we would do that,” Mr. Trump said. “And we have many, many endorsements coming out of the meeting.”
Just how many endorsements? Mr. Trump and his aides will get back to us.