Trump Tried To Prevent Millions Of Black Americans From Voting In 2016

by : Cameron Frew on : 29 Sep 2020 11:14
Trump Tried To Prevent Millions Of Black Americans From Voting In 2016Trump Tried To Prevent Millions Of Black Americans From Voting In 2016PA/Channel 4

US President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign deliberately strove to keep millions of Black Americans from voting, a new report claims.

November’s election day lies on the horizon, with the surging political conversation inspiring heated debates, unprecedented words from The Rock, and revelations regarding the current POTUS.


Yesterday, September 28, Trump’s leaked tax returns revealed he only paid $750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017, as well as his $421 million of debt. A new investigation into his earlier presidential campaign has revealed a targeted effort to keep Black voters from showing up to the polls.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPA Images

The report comes from Channel 4 News, which exclusively obtained a ‘vast cache of data’ pertaining to Trump’s 2016 campaign on nearly 200 million voters, ‘among more than 5,000 files, which together amass almost five terabytes of data – making it one of the biggest leaks in history’.

It found that 3.5 million Black Americans in 16 battleground states were marked as ‘Deterrence’ – a category reserved for those deemed undesirable on Election Day, expected to vote for Hillary Clinton or not at all.

Hillary ClintonHillary ClintonPA Images

The Trump campaign forked out $44 million for Facebook ads alone in 2016. However, these included a large amount of ‘dark ads’ – material specifically designed to crush Clinton’s turnout, which also vanished once they were no longer paid for. Ergo, there’s no trackable public record of the ads.

However, the report uncovered evidence that Black voters were specifically targeted, despite opposing claims. One such advert featured Clinton referring to Black youths as ‘super predators’ in 1996, which went on to air on TV more than 400 times in October 2016, in addition to millions of views online.

Donald Trump and and Hillary Clinton Donald Trump and and Hillary Clinton PA Images

In another confidential document, it was revealed that $55,000 was spent on injecting the ‘predators’ video in Georgia alone.

Across the states, voters were split into eight categories, with ‘Deterrence’ disproportionately filled with Black people. When it came to the vote, Trump took key states like Wisconsin and Michigan with tiny margins, amid the first fall in Black turnout in 20 years.

For context, Trump won Michigan by 10,000 votes with 15% of voters being Black – however, they made up 33% of the ‘Deterrence’ category. In Wisconsin, the Republicans won by 30,000 votes with 5.4% being Black – again, the scale was tipped in the ‘Deterrence’ group, with 17% Black voters.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPA Images

Overall, ‘Deterrence’ was 54% minority voters, including Black, Hispanic, Asian and ‘Other’ groups. The other categories, for voters the campaign wanted to attract, were ‘overwhelmingly white’.

Trump’s digital team involved Cambridge Analytica, the infamous consultancy firm credited with swinging the Brexit vote, in addition to helping devise the 2016 campaign strategy. The firm later collapsed following several investigations in 2018.

OR: Cambridge Analytica Facebook ScandalOR: Cambridge Analytica Facebook ScandalPA Images

Jamal Watkins, vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), told the network: 


The thing that’s shocking/troubling about this is that there’s this category of suppression. That ‘Deterrence’ part. So, we use data – similar to voter file data – but it’s to motivate, persuade and encourage folks to participate.

We don’t use the data to say who can we deter and keep at home. That just seems… fundamentally, it’s a shift from the notion of democracy.

He added, ‘It’s not ‘may the best candidate win’ at that point, it’s ‘may the best well-funded machine suppress voters and keep them at home thereby rigging the election so that someone can win.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Donald Trump, Now, US


Channel 4 News
  1. Channel 4 News

    Revealed: Trump campaign strategy to deter millions of Black Americans from voting in 2016