Trump Says Black Americans Can Relate to His Indictments

Ex-president says at event that Black citizens understand him because he's discriminated against
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 24, 2024 10:00 AM CST
Trump: 'Black People Like Me' Because of My Indictments
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at the Black Conservative Federation gala at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, South Carolina, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Former President Donald Trump claimed Friday that his four criminal indictments have boosted his support among Black Americans because they see him as a victim of discrimination, comparing his legal jeopardy to the historic legacy of anti-Black prejudice in the US legal system. Trump argues he's the victim of political persecution, even though there's no evidence President Biden or White House officials influenced the filing of 91 felony charges against him. Earlier in the week, Trump had compared himself to Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin's top domestic rival, who died in a remote Arctic prison after being jailed by the Kremlin leader, per the AP. "I got indicted for nothing, for something that is nothing," Trump told a black-tie event for Black conservatives in South Carolina ahead of Saturday's Republican primary.

Trump added: "And a lot of people said that's why the Black people like me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as I'm being discriminated against. It's been pretty amazing, but possibly, maybe, there's something there." He was flanked on the stage at the Black Conservative Federation's gala in Columbia by Black elected officials, including Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida and Wesley Hunt of Texas. Trump mixed his regular campaign remarks with appeals to the Black community and jokes that touched on race. "The lights are so bright in my eyes I can't see too many people out there. But I can only see the Black ones. I can't see any white ones. That's how far I've come," Trump said to laughter from the audience.

Trump also noted the mugshot taken by Georgia authorities after he was indicted on state racketeering charges over the 2020 election. "When I did the mugshot in Atlanta, that mugshot is No. 1," he said, adding: "You know who embraced it more than anyone else? The Black population." He also said he knew many Black people because his properties were built by Black construction workers. Republicans face an uphill battle in courting Black voters, who are overwhelmingly supportive of the Democratic Party. And while Black voter enthusiasm for Biden has cooled over the last year, only 25% of Black Americans said they had a favorable view of Trump in a December AP-NORC poll. Black voters expressed skepticism that Republicans, and Trump in particular, could persuade them to switch parties. "He's only out for himself," one lifelong Democratic voter told the AP. More here.

(More Donald Trump stories.)

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