WASHINGTON — During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump consistently tried to reach black voters with one controversial question: ‘What the hell do you have to lose?”

Friday, in front of hundreds of young black conservatives attending a leadership summit at the White House, Trump recalled members of his campaign telling him the question was disrespectful to African-Americans.

“I said, ‘What’s disrespectful? What the hell do you have to lose?’ What’s disrespectful?” Trump told the lively crowd. “And then I said it over and over at every speech. And you know what, my poll numbers, you saw, with African-Americans went up, up, up, up. Because [African-Americans] started saying, ‘He’s right.”

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