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Donald Trump Suggests Black People Like Him Because He Was Indicted

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Donald Trump has said that he believes the criminal indictments against him have made him more popular among Black voters.

“A lot of people said that’s why the Black people liked me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against,” he told a room of Republicans at the Conservative Black Federation in Columbia, South Carolina, on February 23. Some applause could be heard in response to Trump’s statements.

He is facing 91 criminal charges across four indictments in Georgia, New York, Florida and Washington, D.C. He has said each of the four criminal indictments is politically motivated against him, and he has pleaded not guilty to each one.

Trump’s campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told Newsweek: “Crooked Joe Biden and his campaign are trying to gaslight and distract from the fact that Black Americans are turning their back on their destructive policies. By contrast, President Trump delivered policies for Black Americans like passing criminal justice reform, fully funded HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities], created Opportunity Zones, and lowered Black unemployment.”

“They see what’s happening to me happens to them,” Trump also said during his speech, referring to historical incidents of anti-Black discrimination in the American legal system. “Does that make sense?” The Republican added: “Black Americans have been a vital part of the American story.”

Ahead of the speech, Biden-Harris 2024 Director of Black Media Jasmine Harris said: “Come November, no matter how many disingenuous voter engagement events he attends, Black Americans will show Donald Trump we know exactly who he is.”

His appearance on Friday night caused some backlash among commentators, but others defended Trump. “Can you get more insulting?” Laura Coates, CNN anchor and chief legal analyst, said on Laura Coates Live on Friday.

Lavern Spicer, a Republican congressional candidate running in Florida’s 24th District, said on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday that Trump “killed it” in his speech.

Donald Trump
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Black Conservative Federation Gala on February 23 in Columbia, South Carolina. He said Black Americans “embraced” his mugshot taken in Georgia last year.

Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Trump also spoke of his now-infamous mug shot taken in Georgia, where he and 18 other defendants are facing racketeering charges in connection with alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

“When I did the mug shot in Atlanta, that mug shot is number one.” Trump then said: “You know who embraced it more than anyone else? The Black population.”

Trump has attempted to capitalize on his legal woes, even offering T-shirts with his mug shot printed on the front.

An AP-NORC Center poll conducted in December last year said just 50 percent of Black voters approve of President Joe Biden, down significantly from 86 percent in July 2021.

Despite the falling numbers, just 25 percent of Black adults said they viewed Trump in a favorable light.

Trump’s campaign team has said that it hopes to shift Black voter support towards the former president. GOP political consultant Chris LaCivita said it would be “an opportunity that we would be remiss if we didn’t exploit,” the Associated Press reported.

During the speech, Trump said, to some laughter in the room, that lights were “so bright in my eyes that I can’t see too many people out there. I can only see the Black ones. I can’t see any white ones.

“You see, that’s how far I’ve come. That’s how far I’ve come,” the former president added.