BET founder says Trump is not a racist, and stocks are right to rally post-election

Bob Johnson: I turned down a Trump Cabinet position
Bob Johnson: I turned down a Trump Cabinet position

Media mogul Bob Johnson, who met with President-elect Donald Trump earlier this month, told CNBC on Tuesday the post-election rally in the stock market has been a reaction to having a businessman in the White House.

The BET founder, a Democrat, also said on "Squawk Box" that he's known Trump for years and believes Trump wants to work with African-Americans and all Americans to boost the economy.

"To me, I never thought Donald Trump, and I still don't believe it today, was a racist. I don't believe that he's anti-African-American," said Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Cos. "For too long, the African-American community has been ignored by the Republicans because they thought we were always locked with the Democrats."

Trump is not in either camp, Johnson said: "Certainly not an establishment Republican [and] he's not a Democrat, he was open. And he's a business guy. And business guys tend to look at where's the opportunity for a benefit."

The market is right to be optimistic about the possibility of Trump's policy proposals kicking U.S. economic growth into a higher gear, said Johnson, who had supported Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

Johnson met with Trump and top advisors Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Jared Kushner at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Nov. 20.

The Monday after that meeting Johnson said on "Squawk Box" that he told Trump to approach African-Americans with what they have to gain, rather than what they have to lose.

Johnson reiterated that message on Tuesday, and filled in some more details about his meeting with Trump.

"It was an easy discussion, because I wasn't coming there on a job interview," he said. "He hinted at something I could be interested in, and I quickly shut that down. It was a Cabinet position."

"But I can't work for the government ... because to me as an entrepreneur trying to work in a government structure where you got to through 15 different layers of decision-making to get want you want done doesn't fit my mold," he added.