A senior Donald Trump campaign official says Trump’s team is working to suppress the votes of Black people and young women—even as the Republican presidential nominee, who alleges the election is being “rigged” against him, attempts to sway people of color to vote for him.
“We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” the senior official told Bloomberg Businessweek in a report published Thursday. Those efforts reportedly focus on depressing the turnout of key voting blocs that could help sway the election in Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s favor: “idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans.”
“Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters,” Bloomberg reported. “The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are ‘super predators’ is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.”
“We know because we’ve modeled this,” the campaign official told Bloomberg. “It will dramatically affect [Clinton’s] ability to turn these people out.”
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To spread these messages, the Trump campaign began placing ads on Black radio stations on October 24. The campaign also plans to promote a “super predators” video on Facebook using “dark posts,” which are visible only to specific Facebook users.
Such a plan, which seeks to keep likely Clinton voters from the polls instead of encouraging likely Trump voters to cast a ballot, could backfire, Bloomberg says, “setting back GOP efforts to attract women and minorities even further.”
An anonymous “high-level Trump campaign source” told Yahoo News this month that Trump would attack the Clinton Foundation’s work in Haiti and Sub-Saharan Africa, in hopes of persuading Black voters that the Clintons “treat blacks as people they can make money off.”
“It’s about the suppression of votes, just to get them to stay home. If we can pick up some votes along the way, that’s fantastic, but it’s really about the suppression of votes,” the source said.
Bloomberg’s report comes one day after Trump pledged to offer “a new deal for Black America” during a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Whether you vote for me or not, I will be your greatest champion,” Trump told the crowd.
“I will never ever take the African-American community for granted,” he said. “Never, ever.”
Trump has spent much of the tail end of his presidential campaign pushing the false claim that the election is “rigged” against him, an assertion that even many of his fellow Republicans admit has no basis.