Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSpace exploration is good for American jobs Trump approves Indiana Medicaid work requirements Democrat Manchin: Pence attacks prove ‘they don’t want bipartisanship’ in Trump admin MORE on Tuesday cast the National Museum of African American History and Culture as “hallowed ground,” calling it a reminder of the country’s “difficult past” with racial inequality and a tribute to “our progress towards a more perfect union.”
“This has been a payment of a debt of gratitude to Americans who, since before our nation’s founding, have contributed mightily,” Pence said before a crowd of about 50 people at the museum.
“The good book tells us if you owe debts, pay debts,” Pence said, referencing the Bible.
Pence also said he had a “profound appreciation for the role of faith in progress that we’ve made.”
He said that speaking at the museum during Black History Month was a “deeply humbling” experience.
Pence’s remarks were followed by a tour through the museum, which opened in 2016.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump’s desire for military parade: ‘We have a Napoleon in the making’ MORE visited the museum last year, shortly after taking office.
Trump has repeatedly faced accusations of racist behavior. Those allegations flared up in January after he reportedly demanded in an Oval Office meeting to know why the U.S. should admit immigrants from “shithole countries,” like Haiti or those in Africa.
He also reportedly expressed a desire to accept more immigrants from countries like Norway.
Trump has denied making those comments.
Trump has also sparred with black athletes, particularly NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police misconduct.
Trump has rejected accusations of racism, telling reporters last month that he is the “least racist person you have ever interviewed.”