US

Black people like me because I’m ‘discriminated against’ too, Trump claims

Donald Trump has claimed his four criminal cases have boosted his support among black Americans because they relate to being “discriminated against”.

The former president also said the mugshot taken of him after he was charged with trying to overturn the 2020 US election result in the state of Georgia was “embraced” by the “black population”.

Speaking at an event for black conservatives in South Carolina ahead of Saturday’s Republican primary, Trump compared his own legal problems to the historic legacy of prejudice against African-Americans in the US legal system.

A police mugshot taken of Donald Trump after he was booked on 13 election fraud charges in Georgia. Pic: Reuters
Image:
The mugshot Trump was referring to – taken after he was booked on 13 election fraud charges in Georgia. Pic: Reuters

The former president, who is hoping to win a return to the White House in the US election in November, said at the Black Conservative Federation’s annual gala on Friday: “I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time, 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.”

He added: “It’s been pretty amazing but possibly, maybe, there’s something there.”

Trump is the dominant frontrunner to be the Republican candidate in the election and is favoured to soundly beat UN ambassador Nikki Haley in the primary in South Carolina – her home state.

The primary gives the state’s Republican voters the opportunity to decide who will be their candidate in the election.

Nikki Haley greets a supporter in South Carolina
Image:
Nikki Haley greets a supporter in South Carolina

Trump has centred his third campaign for the White House on his grievances against US President Joe Biden and what he alleges is a “deep state” targeting him as he faces four criminal cases.

The former president is facing charges in relation to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, keeping classified documents at his Florida estate and allegedly arranging payments to a porn actress.

The fourth case relates to accusations he criminally conspired to overturn his narrow defeat in the state of Georgia in the 2020 election.

Speaking about the mugshot taken in relation to the Georgia case, Trump told the event: “When I did the mugshot in Atlanta, that mugshot is No 1. You know who embraced it more than anyone else? The black population.”

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Trump’s presidential campaign has predicted he can do better with black voters in November than he did four years ago, citing Mr Biden’s faltering poll numbers with African-American adults.

“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,” Mr Trump said to laughter from the audience on Friday night.

He also said that he knew many black people because his properties were built by African-American construction workers.

Republicans face an uphill battle in courting black voters, who are overwhelmingly supportive of the Democratic Party.

While black voter enthusiasm for Mr Biden has cooled over the past year, only 25% of black Americans said they had a favourable view of Trump in a December AP-NORC poll.

Earlier this week, Trump compared himself to Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who died in a remote Arctic prison on 16 February.

Trump braced for Republican primary

The former president is hoping to win his fourth straight primary state over Ms Haley in South Carolina.

Trump went into the primary with a huge polling lead and the backing of the state’s top Republicans, including Senator Tim Scott, a former rival in the race.

Ms Haley has repeatedly vowed to carry on if she loses her home state.

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