Trump ramps up minority outreach with Philly visit
GOP presidential nominee works to broaden support
PHILADELPHIA — Donald Trump was met with tears and gratitude as he sat with African-American supporters Friday, including the mother of a slain young woman who was killed by a man who entered the U.S. illegally.
The back-to-back meetings, held in a ballroom in Northwest Philadelphia, underscored the balancing act the Republican nominee is playing as he tries to expand his support in the race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
While Trump works to broaden his appeal among more moderate and minority voters, he’s also working to maintain his popularity with his core GOP base by pressing his hard-line views on immigration.
At the invite-only roundtable discussion, Trump met with a dozen local business, civic and religious leaders who praised him for coming to “the hood” as part of his outreach efforts.
Trump was warmly received by the group, including Daphne Goggins, a local Republican official, who wiped away tears as she introduced herself to Trump, saying she’s been a Republican most her life, but, “for the first time in my life, I feel like my vote is going to count.”
Renee Amoore, a local business leader, assured Trump that he has support in the black community, despite his low standing in public opinion surveys.
“People say, Mr. Trump, that you have no AfricanAmerican support. We want you to know that you do,” she said, adding, “We appreciate you and what you’ve done, coming to the Donald Trump comforts Shalga Hightower, center, whose daughter, Iofemi, in photo at bottom, was slain in 2007. hood, as people That’s a big deal.”
But Trump’s meeting also highlighted the challenges he faces making inroads with African-Americans and Latinos.
Protesters gathered in front of the building where Trump appeared, and a coalition of labor leaders met nearby to denounce Trump’s outreach to black voters as disingenuous and insulting.
Ryan Boyer of the Labor District Council said Trump “has no prescription to help inner-city America.”
Next stop for Trump is Detroit on Saturday, where blacks make up 83 percent of the population. He’s expected to visit a church with a predominantly black congregation while there.
Meanwhile, the news moderators for the upcoming presidential debates were announced.
NBC News chief anchor Lester Holt will moderate the first presidential debate Sept. 26.
ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson call it. Cooper are doing the second Oct. 9, and Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace the third Oct 19.
Also Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country wasn’t involved in the hacking of emails of the Democratic Party, but thinks the release of the information was a benefit.
Some U. S. officials claimed that Russian military intelligence was behind the hacking, which provoked a political scandal in the U.S. by revealing apparent prejudice in the Democratic National Committee against Clinton’s challenger for the presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders.
“At the state level, we certainly weren’t involved in this,” Putin told Bloomberg News, according to a transcript released Friday by the Kremlin.
Putin said it wasn’t important who conducted the hacking, but “what’s important is that there was material that was released to the public.”