Weeks before the Republican National Convention kicked off in Cleveland, presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump asked his longtime friend Don King to speak at the event.
For several months King has been promoting the urgency of a new system form of government in a series of articles that Trump was impressed by.
Trump’s request of King gathered national steam, and media request flooded the RNC and the Call & Post Newspaper.
As the momentum continued to build and King began preparing his speech for the occasion, behind the scenes Trump was embroiled in a confrontation with RNC Chair Reince Priebus over his selection of King as a speaker.
The billionaire businessman candidate obviously saw no reason why King should not be allowed to speak. After all Trump was the presumptive nominee and this was his platform.
However, the 44- year old former attorney Priebus prevented the Cleveland native and global icon from speaking before the convention in his hometown.
News of King’s denial was leaked to the New York Times, which published an article explaining Priebus dubious reason was because King was convicted of a felony.
Priebus reminded Trump that King had stomped a man to death and Trump eventually conceded, according to the Times report.
The event that Priebus referenced occurred 50 years ago in 1966.
Most importantly, King received a full unconditional pardon in 1983 by Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes, a pardon supported by Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, George Voinovich, Art Modell, and Gabe Paul, among many others.
More ironic is the fact that Priebus and King had a cordial conversation about promoting the party in the Call & Post several months ago when the chairman visited the home of a local Cleveland resident for a reception.
That phone conversation lasted for several minutes.
More than 8 months ago King began penning articles in the Call & Post in support of the American people, who ultimately transformed an unconventional Trump candidacy into a ground swell movement that fueled him to defeat 16 established candidates in the primary.
Throughout his illustrious career as an iconic boxing promoter, indefatigable advocate for peace and women’s rights, humanitarian and global ambassador, King has been an avid supporter of the right to vote process.
Apparently none this was significant to Priebus whose rush to judgment against King was more convincing than a prosecutor’s testimony in a courtroom against a black defendant.
Trump had a hard time understanding why his long time friend would not be on the RNC speaker’s platform, but the slighting of King was also another blow to Trump by party leaders and the Republican establishment.
After some wrangling with RNC officials over credentials, King was allowed to attend the convention anyway and was a major attraction.
“I’m not speaking because Reince Priebus is still thinking he don’t like black people,” King told reporters outside the Quicken Loans arena where the convention is being held.
King called the New Jersey native Priebus, “so antiquated.” King has a number of streets named for him in New Jersey
The subsequent King endorsement of Trump came about as a direct result of his weekly ‘Help Save America—Help Save The World’ columns that appear in the Call & Post, which King owns.
An eventual creative by King, a full page display that featured Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders turned out to provide a big boon for Trump.
“Trump called me. I did not call Trump,” King explained to reporters at the RNC.
“And he asked me if I would do it for him because he knows what I did for George Walker Bush. And he knows I brought the Haitian vote in Florida to make George Walker Bush get Florida.”
King was referencing his successful campaigning for former President Bush.
He is a man that President Jimmy Carter wrote was a friend, who is on a first name basis with the likes of former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, Nevada Senator Harry Reid, Ambassador Uri Savir, and former Democratic Chairman John C. White, former Nicaraguan President Daniel Otrega, Mexico President Pena Nieto, Venezuelan President Hugo, the late Nelson Mandella, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, King of Thailand Bhumibol Aduluadei, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Panama President Ricardo Martinelli, former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the late Coretta Scott King, former President Bill Clinton, former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, Muhammad Ali, Israel President Shimon Peres and most importantly there are people from all walks of life in all parts of the world.
Reagan wrote King on September 6, 1983 to inform him of his acceptance to the exclusive National Republican Senatorial Inner Circle, a group of 2000 members that included Henry Ford II, Bob Hope, Joe Coors, Jimmy Stewart and John Connally.
However all of that was not important to Priebus, who didn’t have the respect to even give King a phone call.
“He never talked to me. He didn’t have that much sense,” King stated about Priebus. “That would have been the sensible thing to do, but when you don’t count, it don’t make no [difference] — that’s why you got to understand the system.”