Harris Calls Trump ‘Insulting’ For Claiming His Conviction Appeals To Black Voters

Vice President Kamala Harris slammed former President Donald Trump for repeatedly claiming that he appeals to Black voters because of his felony conviction, saying the Republican candidate’s racist efforts to reach Black Americans are “insulting.”

Harris, the first Black American, South Asian American, and woman to be vice president, made the remarks in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski that aired on Monday. During the interview, Brzezinski asked the Democrat her thoughts on the indicted ex-president’s attempt to connect with Black voters via his legal struggles, as well as his oft-repeated claim that he can’t be racist because he has Black friends.

“Well, on the first point, as connected to the second point, it’s insulting,” Harris answered. “It’s insulting for a number of reasons, including [that] he has reduced the whole population of people down to a sum total of what is, in his mind, who they are. And he’s wrong, and he’s wrong.”

Trump was convicted last month on 34 felony counts related to his hush money trial, one of many cases for which the former president has been indicted, including charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election he lost. 

“I got indicted for nothing ― for something that is nothing. … I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time,” Trump said in February at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in South Carolina. 

“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 continued. “It’s been pretty amazing. Possibly ― maybe there’s something there.”

The Republican candidate repeated the claim in an interview with Semafor published earlier this month, alleging that Black voters have told him “very plainly and very clear” that they “feel that similar things have happened to them.”

At the time of Trump’s February comments, the Biden campaign said that the Republican “peddled racist tropes” that mocked Black voters.

“This might come as news to Trump, but pushing tired tropes, wannabe Jordans, and mugshot t-shirts isn’t going to win over Black voters who suffered through record high unemployment and skyrocketing uninsured rates under his leadership,” Biden spokesperson Sarafina Chitika said in a statement. “Trump is showing Black voters exactly what he thinks of them ― and his ideas to win them over are as corny and racist as he is.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Black Conservative Federation Gala on Feb. 23 in Columbia, South Carolina.Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Black Conservative Federation Gala on Feb. 23 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Black Conservative Federation Gala on Feb. 23 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sean Rayford via Getty Images

Trump has a long history of racism, having famously called for the Exonerated Five ― the Black and brown teenage boys falsely accused of rape in New York ― to receive the death penalty in the 1980s. He also led the right-wing conspiracy that falsely accused former President Barack Obama of having been born in Kenya and not the U.S., and called white nationalists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, “very fine people.” Just last month, a producer for Trump’s former reality TV show, “The Apprentice,” alleged that there is a recording of the then-businessman using the N-word in reference to a Black contestant.

“I have so many Black friends that if I were a racist, they wouldn’t be friends, they would know better than anybody, and fast. They would not be with me for two minutes if they thought I was racist ― and I’m not racist!” Trump told Semafor this month, a claim he has often repeated despite the reality that having Black friends does not cancel out acts of racism.

Despite repeatedly denouncing the hush money trial that made him the first U.S. president to ever be convicted of a felony, Trump now proudly wears his guilty verdict with his 2024 campaign saying it has since received a massive influx of contributions.

“Every time the radical-left Democrats, Marxists, communists and fascists indict me, I consider it a great, great badge of honor,” Trump told the South Carolina audience in February. “Because I’m being indicted for you, the American people. I’m being indicted for you, the Black population. I’m being indicted for a lot of different groups by sick people.”

In a Pew Research Center poll released last month, 18% of Black respondents said they would vote for Trump ― double what it was during the 2020 election. About 77% said they would vote for Biden, and 65% said they believe Trump broke the law in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Days away from the first presidential debate of the 2024 election, Trump announced that he had chosen his pick for vice president, though he would not reveal who it was. Among the list of potential contenders are two Black Republicans, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) and Rep. Byron Donalds (Fla.) ― the latter who recently suggested that Black Americans were better off under America’s racist Jim Crow era.

“I don’t know who he’s going to pick. I try to spend not too much time thinking about how he thinks,” Harris said Monday. “But listen, I think it’s clear there’s a litmus test. And he is going to pick someone who will be more loyal to him than to their country … and is more likely to bring in someone who’s going to be a rubber stamp.”

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