Remember back in February when President Trump met with dozens of Presidents from historically Black colleges and universities where he signed an executive order benefiting the institutions. It’s possible things may have changed since then.

A recent statement released by the White House seems to infer federally-backed funding for HBCUs is unconstitutional based on racial discrimination.

The statement says, “Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program” will be treated “in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the laws under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”

This statement was a major blow for White House representatives and the Department of Education who were working on strengthening the relationship with HBCUs.

“The timing of this was crazy … It totally blindsided the White House domestic policy staff and all of the key players on this issue, and it subsequently blindsided the HBCU community,” said a source to BuzzFeed who has knowledge of the situation.

“It was a tone-deaf statement literally attacking not just HBCUs but Native Americans.”

Even with causing a ripple effect within the HBCU community, President Trump says he remains committed to helping HBCUs flourish.

“The statement that accompanied my signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, sets forth my intention to spend the funds it appropriates, including the funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), consistently with my responsibilities under the Constitution. It does not affect my unwavering support for HBCUs and their critical educational missions,” said the President.

It should be noted one of President Trump’s trusted advisers, Omarosa Manigault, is a graduate of Howard University. We hope Black colleges get the proper funding under this new administration.