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Story highlights

Singleton says he doesn't regret writing the op-ed criticizing Trump

He was disappointed by firing, but wants to "help the administration move forward"

(CNN) —  

A Department of Housing and Urban Development employee who was fired for an 2016 op-ed he wrote that criticized then-candidate for president Donald Trump says he has no regrets and does not take his dismissal personally.

In Republican consultant Shermichael Singleton’s op-ed for The Hill, he criticized Trump’s rhetoric about African-Americans during the campaign.

“Donald Trump portrays our inner cities is as if they are the ailments of American society and should be exterminated and swiftly removed,” Singleton wrote in the op-ed. “He never mentions the many hardworking, good and honest people who are simply trying the best they can to achieve their share of the American dream.”

After the election, the 26-year-old worked with Ben Carson during his confirmation process to become HUD secretary. Singleton then joined the department as a senior adviser.

“I was disappointed,” Singleton told CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight.” “I said, OK, look, you can either be upset about this and do nothing or be a grown-up and say it’s OK. You’re American, there are still things you can do to continue to help the administration move forward.”

Lemon read a paragraph from his piece where he said: “My party in particular has allowed itself to be taken over by someone who claims to be a Republican but doesn’t represent any of our values, principles or traditions,” he wrote. “We allowed that hostile takeover to happen on our watch.”

“Do you still feel that way?” Lemon asked, to which Singleton replied, “You have a perspective at a time based on certain variables. But when presented with new information, your opinion can change.”

Trump pledges to unite ‘divided country’ after African-American history museum visit

Singleton appeared to soften his stance on Trump by saying that his visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture with Carson was an example of the administration doing a better job at reaching out to African Americans.

“To me, that is a step in the right direction,” he said. “The fact that the President is making efforts, you have to give credit for efforts. Because he could decide not to do anything at all.”

Rene Marsh and Eugene Scott contributed to this story.