In a private meeting inside Trump Tower days before his inauguration, Donald Trump told a group of civil rights leaders something most Republicans wouldn’t dare publicly acknowledge: lower turnout among Black voters did, in fact, benefit him in the 2016 presidential election.
“Many Blacks didn’t go out to vote for Hillary ‘cause they liked me. That was almost as good as getting the vote, you know, and it was great,” the president-elect said, according to an audio recording of the meeting shared with POLITICO.
Three-and-a-half years later, those comments take on new weight, as Democrats and Republicans battle over restrictions on voting amid an historic pandemic.
Trump has repeatedly alleged, without evidence, that expanding mail-in voting will lead to massive fraud, and Republicans have filed lawsuits against a number of states attempting to do so. Higher voter turnout tends to benefit Democrats — low turnout among Black voters in key states is one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost to Trump in 2016. And voting rights activists have warned that GOP efforts to limit access to absentee ballots could keep many from voting this fall, particularly Black people, seniors and others at high risk from Covid-19.
Inside Trump Tower, Trump told the group that he had “so many” Black friends who “are so incredible, and everyone knows that.” At the top of the meeting, he showed off NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal’s sneaker, world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s belt and Sugar Ray Leonard’s boxing glove. (He also flaunted Tom Brady’s Super Bowl helmet and his own chair from “The Apprentice.”)
And during the 45-minute meeting, Trump asked the attendees if they were “surprised that Hillary lost so badly” and boasted that he won 11 percent of the Black vote in 2016. Trump lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million and only won 8 percent of Black voters, according to exit polls, 81 percentage points behind Clinton. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, and John McCain, the 2008 GOP standard-bearer, won 6 percent and 4 percent of Black voters, respectively.
“Sounds lousy, but Romney was 4 percent; McCain was 3 percent,” Trump said, misstating both candidates’ support from Black voters. “And we did well with the Hispanics, and we did well with women. You know, the women were gonna abandon me, but we did well with them.”
In the 2017 meeting with civil rights leaders, Trump criticized the state of America’s inner cities, which he said are in bad shape — a recurring theme of his presidency. And he went on to claim that he listens “better to the African American people than anybody else,” including those in the room, and pledge to “work on the inner cities.”
Trump floated the possibility of another meeting at the White House in one or two months, but Warhol said it never materialized. The White House invited Young to accept a Presidential Medal of Freedom, Warhol said, but Young had already been awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor by Carter in 1981.
More at the link above. It is well known how tRump feels about POC, tRump is a white nationalist racist and bigot. No debating that. Any POC, LGBTQ+, poor, or any other minority voting for tRump / not voting for Biden is a direct threat to your interests. Vote, but do so thinking of your needs and what you will get out of the person you are voting for. Hugs