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Donald Trump rejects offer to speak to NAACP

By Shawn Price
Donald Trump rejects offer to speak to NAACP
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has turned down an offer to speak at the annual NAACP convention, a rare snub by a candidate running for president. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, July 13 (UPI) -- Donald Trump turned down an offer to speak to the NAACP at its annual convention Monday in Cincinnati, marking only the fourth time since the 1980 election a presidential nominee has not appeared.

The snub allows Hillary Clinton to have the stage to herself on Monday night, as the Republican convention opens in Cleveland.

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"Mr. Trump has declined our invitation," NAACP head Cornell Brooks told CNN. "You can't run for president and not talk about the nation's civil rights agenda. This is an important moment."

Trump's campaign did not comment, but his declining to speak also comes at the moment when the nation is tense over five police officers being killed in Dallas and the videotaped shooting deaths of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana by police.

Ronald Reagan didn't speak in 1980, but spoke in 1981. Fellow Republican Bob Dole turned down the offer in 1996 and then-President George W. Bush avoided the convention in 2004, but spoke in 2006.

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