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Ja'Ron Smith, deputy assistant to the president, testified to President Trump's commitment to Black communities at the Republican National Convention Thursday, saying: "I have seen his true conscience."

Why it matters: Smith is the highest-ranking Black official in the White House. Trump has taken to calling him "my star" in meetings, according to a New York Times profile.

What he's saying: "Growing up, I’d never really known a Republican—I believed all the stereotypes. It took meeting Republicans who shared my values to show me I was wrong," Smith said.

  • "Donald Trump knows that in the work of revitalizing communities, America’s strength is America’s people. And I can tell you—he really cares. But, more importantly, he takes action."
  • "Every issue important to Black communities has been a priority for him: prison reform, re-building broken families, bringing jobs back to America—jobs in Cleveland, jobs in Detroit, jobs in Milwaukee. Jobs for the future and jobs right here, right now."
  • "And, in the wake of the murder of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and LeGend Taliferro—a moment of national racial consciousness—I have seen his true conscience. I just wish every American could see the deep empathy he showed to families whose loved ones were killed in senseless violence."

The bottom line: "For a New Yorker, he's got a lot of Cleveland heart," Smith, who was raised in Cleveland, concluded. "And I'm proud to say that he's my president."

Go deeper

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 5, 2020 - Economy & Business

When philanthropy is intertwined with tax evasion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private equity billionaire Robert Smith — the richest Black person in America — spent 15 years evading taxes on more than $200 million of income, by parking it in secret offshore accounts.

  • When he was caught, he agreed to pay a fine of $140 million, thereby avoiding criminal prosecution. By that point, he'd donated all of the money to charity.
Dec 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.