Trump tells Atlanta Black barbershop why Black people like him (2024)

Ahead of Thursday's first presidential debate in Georgia, former President Donald Trump spoke to a panel at a Black barbershop in Atlanta on Wednesday, explaining why the Black community is supporting him—and it's the same reason a Biden/Harris spokesperson said communities of color are not supporting him.

Trump and President Joe Biden will have their first debate on Thursday night, hosted by CNN at the network's studio in Georgia, a battleground state.

On Wednesday, Trump called into the Black American Business Leader Barbershop Roundtable, which took place at Rocky's Barbershop in Atlanta and streamed on the Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN), to discuss various issues amid the 2024 campaign.

Newsweek has reached out to the Trump and Biden campaigns via email for comment.

Trump tells Atlanta Black barbershop why Black people like him (1)

Republican Representative Byron Donalds of Florida, a Trump ally, headed the roundtable talk as he spoke to the former president. Trump discussed the support he is receiving from the Black community and attributed it to his mugshot.

"The mugshot is the best ev- it just beat Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra by a lot. That's the number one mugshot of all time," Trump said. "It's really an amazing thing. Since it happened, the support among the Black community and the Hispanic community has skyrocketed. It's been very nice to see. The truth is it's really a lovely thing when I see that, we have great support now in the Black community."

In August 2023, Trump became the first former president to have his mugshot taken after being booked at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia on 13 felony counts. He is accused of conspiring with 18 co-defendants to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election in the state but has denied any wrongdoing, saying the case is part of a political witch hunt.

Trump: "The mugshot is the best ev- it just beat Elvis Presley & Frank Sinatra by a lot. That's the number 1 mugshot of all time. It's really an amazing thing. Since it happened, the support among the Black community & Hispanic community has skyrocketed" pic.twitter.com/qX1WSdARzu

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 26, 2024

In an emailed statement to Newsweek, a Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson and Atlanta native, Sarafina Chitika, condemned Trump's comments of Black voters stating "nothing from Trump's mugshot...will make voters forget his racist track record."

"Lifelong racist Donald Trump thinks so little of voters of color that he thinks his 34 felony convictions will win us over despite the fact that he's spent his entire life and career harming Black and Latino communities. This might come as news to Trump, but Black and Latino voters want nothing to do with his racist stereotypes and they know better than to buy into his lazy, shameful attempts at 'outreach.' Nothing, from Trump's mugshot to his bootleg sneakers, will make voters forget his racist track record in the White House and throughout his life. Voters of color are sick of Trump's pandering – and they're ready to make him a two-time loser this November," Chitika said.

In addition, some have taken to X, formerly Twitter, to criticize the former president.

Biden-Harris HQ wrote on X, "A racist Trump claims Black people like him because he's a convicted felon and has a mugshot."

While X user HYYERlearning wrote: "In an ATL barbershop.. Trump touts his mugshot as to why he has more black support... this man don't respect yall."

This is also not the first time Trump has made comments about why the Black community likes him. In February, he told a group of Black conservatives that his indictments are "why the Black people liked me."

"A lot of people said that's why the Black people liked me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against," he said at the time.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told Newsweek at the time: "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."

As Trump and Biden continue to campaign for the White House, a June poll conducted by USA Today and Suffolk University in the swing states of Michigan and Pennsylvania showed an increase in Trump's support among Black voters compared to 2020. It comes as there was decline in Biden's backing from the crucial voting bloc in the two swing states.

Despite Trump's gains, Biden still maintains majority support among Black voters. The poll highlighted a growing interest in third-party candidates and a significant portion of undecided Black voters, indicating a fluid situation. The Black vote helped Biden win in swing states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in 2020.

In recent weeks, the Trump and Biden campaigns have stepped up their efforts to court Black voters.

Trump's campaign recently announced a new coalition, "Black Americans for Trump," which boasts endorsem*nts from elected officials, athletes, entertainers, community leaders and pastors from the Black community. The announcement on Saturday coincided with Trump's visit to Detroit to attend a roundtable discussion at a Black church.

The Biden campaign launched a fresh push to win over Black voters with a rally in Philadelphia last month. Biden thanked Black voters for propelling him to the White House in 2020 and ran through a list of his policy achievements that he said improved the lives of Black Americans.

He also said that Trump was "pandering and peddling lies and stereotypes for your vote, so he can win for himself, not for you."

Update 06/26/24, 5:20 p.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from a Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Trump tells Atlanta Black barbershop why Black people like him (2024)

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