Meet Donald Trump's new go-to defender in Georgia

Shortly before Donald Trump spoke at last night's rally in Macon, the Republican front-runner's campaign issued a press release about the two-hour private meeting he held with black ministers that featured a quote from a surprising name.

There was Bruce LeVell of Atlanta announcing his endorsement of the billionaire, whom he praised for openly discussing "important issues that have been cornerstones of his campaign."

Soon after, when reporters asked for an inside take on that closed-door meeting in New York, LeVell was the Trump campaign's go-to guy.

“It was very successful,” LeVell told The New York Times. “It was like sitting in his living room having a conversation. There was no tension.”

Here we get to the surprising part: LeVell is no pastor, despite the suggestion otherwise. He's a former chairman of the Gwinnett County GOP and the owner of a jewelry store in Dunwoody. The campaign later apologized for the confusion and added, for good measure, that LeVell is a prominent member of his church.

Indeed, he may soon play a more visible role on the Trump circuit. LeVell flew with Trump from New York to Georgia for the rally and, minutes into his address, Trump interrupted himself to do something rather uncharacteristic: He handed LeVell the microphone. Audience members chanted "Bruce, Bruce, Bruce" as the jeweler prepared to speak.

"Donald Trump is not a racist, guys," LeVell said to applause. "We had a big meeting up at Trump headquarters, and we had a bunch of pastors show up who look like me - leaders across the country - to denounce this rumor, this accusation, against this fine man."

He added:

"When I walked up to his office, I looked around, it was so culturally diverse it was amazing. Mostly women are in charge. They have the higher positions in his organization."

Read more about Trump's visit to Georgia here. 

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.