27, October 2019
Democratic presidential candidates have accused President Donald Trump of promoting racism in the US during a forum in South Carolina.
The forum, which was attended by former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and five other Democrats, was held on Saturday at historically black Benedict College where Trump was presented an award a day earlier for his work on criminal justice.
The award ceremony provoked anger among candidates and temporarily prompted Senator Kamala Harris to pull out.
On Saturday, Harris spoke at the forum after the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, which gave Trump the award, was removed as a sponsor.
“I said I would not come because I just couldn’t believe that Donald Trump would be given an award as it relates to criminal justice reform,” Harris told the audience.
“Let’s be clear: This is somebody who has disrespected the voices that have been present for decades about the need for reform,” she said.
Trump, who extolled his record on race and criminal justice while receiving the award, shot back at Harris, calling her a “badly failing presidential candidate.”
Badly failing presidential candidate @KamalaHarris will not go to a very wonderful largely African American event today because yesterday I recieved a major award, at the same event, for being able to produce & sign into law major Criminal Justice Reform legislation
Meanwhile, Biden said that “I don’t quite understand” why Trump would be given an award.
“It’s not just his words that have given rise to hate,” he said. “His actions – his actions have failed the African American community, and all communities.”
Trump is struggling with an impeachment inquiry focused on his request in a July telephone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination to face Trump in the 2020 election.
Trump has compared his impeachment to being killed by a lynching mob without a proper trial.
“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”