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Reince Priebus: ‘I don’t know’ if Trump remarks on Black voters are racist

Former Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said he was not sure if former President Trump’s recent remarks about Black voters were racist.

“I don’t know. Look, I remember, back in 2016, when President Trump went in to say, ‘Hey, what the hell do you have to lose?’” Priebus said on ABC’s “This Week” when asked if Trump’s comments at the Black Conservative Federation annual gala were racist.

“And today, if you look at the polling, he’s looking at recent polling about 22 percent in the Black community, in the seven battleground states,” he added.

Priebus was responding to remarks made by Trump on Friday when he said his four criminal indictments have increased his support among Black Americans because they understand what it means to be victims of discrimination. His comments were swiftly denounced by Black leaders and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as “racist.”

“I got indicted for nothing, for something that is nothing,” Trump told the crowd. “And a lot of people said 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. It’s been pretty amazing, but possibly, maybe, there’s something there.”

Trump also referenced his mug shot that was taken in connection to his election interference case in Fulton County, Ga., to the crowd on Friday.

“When I did the mug shot in Atlanta, that mug shot is No. 1,” Trump said. “You know who embraced it more than anyone else? The Black population.”

Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile pushed back when Priebus attempted to point to President Biden’s past comments on why Black voters should back him instead of Trump when talking about the former president’s remarks.

“Reince, this is not a conversation about whether or not — who has a record, OK? Because we know Donald Trump’s record. This is about the future, and what Donald Trump said was racist tropes. And it’s insulting and demeaning to basically go to Black people and say, ‘Oh, don’t you like the fact that I have 91 convictions? Don’t you want to see this mug shot?’” she said.

“Hell, no. We want freedom and justice and equality like everybody else,” she added.

Priebus said he does not disagree with Brazile.

“Wait a second. I don’t — for the record, I don’t disagree. These things that are said are not helpful. They’re distractions. I think that part of it is he’s trying to be entertaining,” Priebus responded.

“I don’t disagree. However, what I also see are the facts, and the facts are that 22 percent of Black voters in America like what he’s saying, like what he stands for and likes him as a candidate. So that’s something you’re going to — your side’s going to have to deal with,” he added.

Trump is facing a total of 91 criminal charges spread among four state and federal criminal indictments. He has repeatedly claimed that the cases are politically motivated and has pleaded not guilty in each of the cases.

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