Trump Claims His Mug Shot Wins Him Black Voters

Mother Jones illustration; Getty

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.Donald Trump decisively won South Carolina’s GOP primary election against challenger Nikki Haley on Saturday, with the former president earning about 60 percent of Republican votes to Haley’s 40 percent. 
“This was a little sooner than we anticipated,” Trump said at the outset of his victory speech Saturday night, speaking from Columbia, South Carolina. “An even bigger win than we anticipated.” Haley, for her part, vowed to stay in the race, at least for now. “I’m a woman of my word,” she said, “I’m not giving up this fight when a majority of Americans disapprove of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden.”
Even in the state where she once served as governor, few people expected Haley to win. (Most networks called the race for Trump shortly after the polls closed.) But nevertheless, the race had a few surprising—and deeply troubling—moments. We’ve rounded up a few here, including the latest racist comments from the candidate expected to be the GOP’s 2024 nominee:

Speaking at an event hosted on Friday by the Black Conservative Federation in South Carolina, Trump made reference to his multiple indictments”: “I think that’s why the Black people are so much on my side now. Because they see what’s happening to me happens to them. Does that make sense?” “The mugshot, we’ve all seen the mugshot. And you know who embraced it more than anyone else? The Black population. It’s incredible.” At another point in the speech, Trump also said the lights were so bright that he could only see Black attendees in the crowd.

During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Trump spoke of his plans for immigration policy: “It will be the largest deportation in the history of our country and we have no choice,” he said, adding, “We have languages coming into our country… They have languages that nobody in this country has ever heard of. It’s a very horrible thing.” Trump then imitated Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, replete with his attempt at a Mexican accent.

In welcoming Graham to the podium, Trump introduced the Republican South Carolina senator as someone who “happens to be a little bit further left than some of the people on this stage.” When met with boos from the crowd, Trump, appearing genuinely surprised by the reaction, said, “No no, remember—I love him. He’s a good man.” (Graham sure has come a long way from once declaring that the GOP would be “destroyed” if it chose Trump.)

In exit surveys conducted by NBC, 62 percent of GOP primary voters in South Carolina told pollsters—incorrectly—that they don’t think Joe Biden legitimately won the presidential election in 2020. “Haley managed to win 81 percent of voters who believe President Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election,” according to NBC, “but they only made up a third of the electorate.”
On Tuesday, Trump and Haley will face off in another GOP primary, in Michigan.