Trump slammed for ‘unbelievably racist’ claim that Black people like him because of mug shot

Ex-president spoke in South Carolina just hours ahead of the primary election on Saturday

Katie Hawkinson
Washington, DC
Saturday 24 February 2024 17:55 GMT
Trump says ‘the Black people’ like him for his felony charges

Donald Trump claimed Black voters like him because of his many indictments and mug shot during a speech at the Black Conservative Foundation gala on Friday evening.

“I got indicted for nothing. They were doing it because it's election interference. And then I got indicted a second time, a third time and a fourth time,” Mr Trump said. “And a lot of people said that 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.”

The former president is currently facing 91 charges across several cases against him. Mr Trump gave the speech in South Carolina just hours before polls opened for the state’s presidential primary.

“The mug shot, we’ve all seen the mug shot, and you know who embraced it more than anybody else? The Black population,” he said later in the speech. “It’s incredible. You see Black people walking around with my mug shot, you know?”

Mr Trump is referring to his mugshot taken in Fulton County, Georgia last summer after he was booked on several charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Meanwhile, several political commentators are reacting with ire to Mr Trump’s comments.

Jonathan Capehart of MSNBC called the speech “unbelievably racist.”

T-shirts with Donald Trump’s Georgia mug shot sold at CPAC
T-shirts with Donald Trump’s Georgia mug shot sold at CPAC (Gustaf Kilander / The Independent)

“Please, please share [these clips] with your Trump-loving friends,” Capehart told his viewers. “These clips, well, they actually might like it. Well, have them understand why what we just heard is so unbelievably racist, but also problematic for a democracy. That man should never be president of the United States again.”

Mr Capehart also played a second clip of Mr Trump telling the audience the lights were too bright, apparently meaning he could only see Black audience members.

“These lights are so bright in my eyes that I can't see too many people out there,” the former president said. “But I can only see the Black ones. I can't see any white ones. That's how far I've come.”

Betsy Ankney, campaign manager for Nikki Haley, also condemned his speech.

“This is just more of the same chaos, more of the same drama, more of the same baggage,” Ms Ankney told CNN.

Meanwhile, Jasmine Harris, Black media director for President Joe Biden’s campaign, called Trump an “anti-Black tyrant” just hours before his speech, NBC News reports.

“This is the same man who falsely accused the Central Park Five, questioned George Floyd’s humanity, compared his own impeachment trial to being lynched, and ensured the unemployment gap for Black workers spiked during his presidency,” Ms Harris said.

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