Steve Harvey Talks Housing With President-Elect Trump

Steve Harvey, the comedian and television host, became the latest celebrity to ascend Trump Tower on Friday to discuss federal policy with President-elect Donald Trump, in this case housing issues. But before Mr. Harvey was off the premises, he unexpectedly revived a recent controversy over his comments about Asian men.

After the meeting, Mr. Trump and Mr. Harvey briefly appeared together in the lobby. When Mr. Trump left, Mr. Harvey said they had discussed ways he could work with Ben Carson, Mr. Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Harvey has spoken openly in the past of being homeless as an adult while struggling to start his comedy career, though he gave no reason on Friday for why he was consulted on housing affairs. Mr. Harvey said he was invited a week ago by “both transition teams,” referring to representatives of President Obama and Mr. Trump, and emphasized that the visit was informal.

“Well, you know it’s not my jump into politics,” Mr. Harvey said. “I ain’t gonna pass a background check. It’s just me following orders from my friend President Obama who said, ‘Steve, you gotta,’ as he told everybody, ‘get out from behind your computer, stop tweeting and texting and get out there and sit down and talk.’” The Trump team confirmed the invitation. The White House did not comment.

Mr. Harvey announced his support for Mr. Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, last March in the presidential primaries. In September, during an interview with her on “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” on iHeartRadio, he said: “She’s a mother, she’s a grandmother, and we’re going to put her back in the White House, just flat out. Simply put.”

This was just the latest pop-culture-to-politics crossover for Mr. Trump during his transition. Last month the president-elect surprised reporters at Trump Tower by posing for photographs in the lobby with Kanye West.

For Mr. Harvey’s part, he said that the incoming president was “a great guy” and “genuine.” He deflected questions about Mr. Trump’s history of questionable comments regarding race from the campaign trail, and was diplomatic about his doubts about Mr. Trump.

“You don’t kill it with one conversation, but you can start it with the conversation,” Mr. Harvey said. “So,…