Trump suggests his mug shot and accusations will appeal to black voters

Columbia, South Carolina

Former President Donald Trump Friday suggested that his criminal charges and mug shot would appeal to black voters and said “what's going on with (him).”

“I was indicted for nothing, nothing. They did it because it was election interference, and then I got indicted a second time, a third time, a fourth time. That's why black people love me, that's why they've been so badly hurt and discriminated against, and they see me as prejudiced.” A lot of people said,” Trump, who faces 91 criminal charges across the cases. The state's first-in-the-South Republican presidential candidate told a gathering of black conservatives here.

Black conservatives, Trump told a crowd at an exhibition hosted by the Black Conservative Federation, “better understand that some of the greatest evils in our nation's history have come from a few corrupt organizations that are trying to target and subjugate others to deny them their freedom. And to deny their rights. You understand it. I think that's why black people are more on my side now because they see what's going on with me.

The GOP frontrunner also said black Americans have “adapted.” His mug shot than anyone else.

“The mug shot, we've all seen the mug shot and you know who embraced it more than anyone else? Black people. It's unbelievable. You see black people walking around with my mug and you know they're doing the shirt,” he said.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Trump's last remaining major challenger for the GOP nomination, told reporters Saturday that the former president's comments were “disgusting.”

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“That's the dilemma with Donald Trump. That's the attack every day between now and the general election, and that's why I keep saying Donald Trump can't win the general election. He won't,” he said after voting in the South Carolina primary.

Haley's campaign manager told CNN earlier Friday that the former president's indictment comments show why Americans “don't want a Trump-Biden rematch” in November.

“It's the same mess, the same drama, a lot of the same baggage,” Betsy Ankney said during an interview with CNN's Laura Coates.

Haley has He vowed to stay in the race South Carolina's primary and Super Tuesday on March 5, but Trump has won every delegate race so far and has a large lead over Haley in the primary vote in his home state.

Trump, who has a history of using racist language, was heavily criticized during his remarks against President Joe BidenHis general election rival accused him of being a “vicious racist”.

He attacked Biden 1994 Crimes Act — in which Biden has repeatedly defended his role, but also pointed out flaws in the law — and on the president's comments that he recalled working with divisive senators.

“After all, Joe Biden has proven to be the worst and most vicious racist. He is a racist,” Trump said.

In a statement following Trump's comments, Jasmine Harris, director of black media for the Biden campaign, called the former president “an incompetent, anti-black tyrant.” A meeting with a white nationalist Shortly after announcing his 2024 candidacy.

Ahead of the event, Biden's campaign called Trump the “proud poster boy of modern racism.” It described his “racist record,” including his role in the Central Park Five case and his promotion. “Birthism” conspiracy theory He targeted former President Barack Obama.

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“Come November, black Americans will show Donald Trump who we know he is, no matter how many dishonest voter engagement events he attends,” Harris said.

Biden said in July 2020 That's Trump, on many occasions Racism used dog whistles He was the first racist to win the presidency to attack his political rivals. Earlier this week, he mentioned working with divisive senators when he said he was Republican in Congress. “Worse” than Strome ThurmondA former South Carolina senator, he ran for president in 1948 as a segregationist.

At one point on Friday, Trump appeared to joke that he would only see black people in a dark room at the gala.

“These lights are so bright in my eyes that I can't see too many people there. But I can only see the block, and the white man can't see anything. You see, I've come so far. I've come so far. It's a long way, isn't it? These lights. We We've come a long way together,” laughed the crowd.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN's Ebony Davis contributed to this report.

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