Oct 26, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump jabs Harris for cancelling criminal justice event appearance

President Trump and Sen. Kamala Harris

Photo: Jim Watson/Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump singled out Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Twitter Saturday morning, saying she cancelled her planned appearance at an event in South Carolina because he received an award for his criminal justice reform legislation.

What she's saying: Harris responded on Twitter, saying: "My whole life I've fought for justice and for the people — something you'd know nothing about. The only part of criminal justice you can claim credit for is the 'criminal' part."

In a statement on Friday, Harris said:

"As the only candidate who attended an HBCU, I know the importance that these spaces hold for young Black Americans. "
"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."
"Instead, I’ll host students from all campuses as well as the broader Columbia community to come and discuss this critical issue that I’ve worked on for my entire career."

Context: Trump received the Bipartisan Justice Award on Friday at the historically black college as part of the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, reports Politico.

  • Harris, in 2016, received the same award as Trump, per Politico.
  • Other 2020 candidates to attend the conference this weekend include: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and others.

What's next: The weekend event was "reconfigured," after Harris backed out, the AP reports. She is planning an alternative criminal justice roundtable with Columbia, S.C. Mayor Steve Benjamin on Saturday.

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