Black Americans ‘Do Not Need… Your Mugshot,’ Top Democrat Tells Trump


House Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) condemned Sunday the bizarre notion recently put forward by former President Donald Trump at a political event that Black Americans were flocking to his mugshot in a Georgia criminal case. The underlying charges brought by local prosecutor Fani Willis allege a conspiracy targeting the state’s election results from 2020.

“Just so that we are clear. The Black community has thousands of iconic leaders to look up to like Harriet Tubman, John Lewis and Shirley Chisholm. We do not need to embrace your mugshot,” said a post on X (formerly Twitter) from Jeffries’ official account.

Jeffries, who is in his first term as Democratic Leader and would presumably start as the House Democratic pick for Speaker if his party retakes the House, is Black. Jeffries was Democrats’ consistent selection for the role amid the infamously extensive failures by House Republicans, who actually have a majority in the chamber, to assemble the majority necessary to seat a pick from their party.

In the original speech to which Jeffries’ post was responding, Trump also compared his courtroom hurdles to what he characterized as Black Americans facing systematic injustice. The commentary follows soon after Trump compared his troubles to those faced by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who recently died in detention within Russia under Vladimir Putin’s regime. Trump commented publicly on Navalny’s fate — somewhat misrepresenting his death as “sudden” and veering immediately into complaining about his own slate of court cases rather than mentioning Putin at all.

Trump simultaneously has arguably advanced Russian interests with recent threats to support the Putin-controlled country in a potential military stand-off with members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The U.S. is a member of that mutual defense alliance tracing to the aftermath of World War II. Trump has extensively complained about NATO members ostensibly falling short of spending obligations, the nature of which he misrepresents. (They’re not organizational dues but rather domestic defense spending.)