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Trump Rips Kamala Harris For Boycotting Criminal Justice Forum Over His Award

President Donald Trump excoriated Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Saturday morning after the Democratic presidential candidate announced she would not take part in a criminal justice forum at a historically black college after the president was given a “Bipartisan Justice Award.”

“Badly failing presidential candidate [Harris] will not go to a very wonderful largely African American event today because yesterday I received a major award, at the same event, for being able to produce [and] sign into law major Criminal Justice Reform legislation,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “Which will greatly help the African American community (and all other communities), and which was unable to get done in past administrations despite a tremendous desire for it.”

“This and best unemployment numbers EVER is more than Kamala will EVER be able to do for African Americans!” he continued.

The 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, who is slated to host the upcoming forum at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, presented Trump with the Bipartisan Justice Award on Friday. The president received the award for his efforts in championing the First Step Act, which has allowed thousands of non-violent offenders to gain early release from federal prisons and provide programs to help reduce recidivism.

Trump appeared at the event to deliver a keynote address and accept the award, remarking that it was a “true honor.”

Harris was scheduled to speak at Benedict College’s event on Saturday, but she subsequently withdrew from the forum in protest over Trump’s award.

“As the only candidate who attended [a historically black college or university], I know the importance that these spaces hold for young Black Americans,” Harris wrote in a statement.

“Today, when it became clear Donald Trump would receive an award after decades of celebrating mass incarceration, pushing the death penalty for innocent Black Americans, rolling back police accountability measures and racist behavior that puts people’s lives at risk, and then learned all but ten Benedict students are excluded from participating, I cannot in good faith be complicit in papering over his record,” the statement continued.

Rather than participating in the event, Harris’ campaign announced that she will instead hold a criminal justice roundtable at another location on the college’s campus.

Other Democratic presidential hopefuls will still be taking part in the event over the weekend, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“My whole life I’ve fought for justice and for the people — something you’d know nothing about,” Harris responded to Trump on Saturday. “The only part of criminal justice you can claim credit for is the ‘criminal’ part.”

The move comes as the California senator has been noticeably slipping in the polls. After months of stagnant fundraising and steadily declining poll numbers, she slid from the frontrunner in her home state of California to receiving only single-digit support.

As of publication, Harris sits at 5.3% support among Democratic primary voters, according to the RealClearPolitics national polling average. She has not hit double digits in the polls since August 2019.

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