Donald Trump’s campaign didn’t waste any time on Tuesday criticizing Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate, calling her “phony” and part of a “radical mob.” But it wasn’t long ago that Trump was one of her big donors.
Trump donated a total of $6,000 to Harris’s campaign for California attorney general. He gave her money in 2011 and again in 2013. Ivanka Trump donated to her attorney general campaign, too: $2,000 in 2014.
Harris later gave that money to a nonprofit that advocates for civil and human rights for Central Americans, her presidential campaign spokesman told McClatchy in March 2019.
She didn’t make that donation until 2015, a year after she won reelection as attorney general and was turning her attention toward a Senate bid.
In a Tuesday evening call with reporters, Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser on Trump’s reelection campaign, addressed the president’s donations to Harris.
“It’s a question that the president has answered many times earlier on the campaign trail,” Pierson said. “The president, as a private businessman, donated to candidates across all aisles, and I’ll note that Kamala Harris is a Black woman and he donated to her campaign, so I hope we can squash this racism argument now.”
Trump’s donations to Harris do not mean he is not racist. He has a long, documented history of being racist. It has been on display throughout his presidency, and Harris has been calling him out on it since he became a presidential candidate. In an interview with CNN in August 2019, she was asked if she thinks Trump encourages white supremacy.
“I think that’s absolutely right,” Harris said. “The sad thing about this is it’s no longer really a debatable point. There is just a long list of statements and tweets and behaviors from this president that make it very clear that he possesses hate. And that he is divisive. And that he is a racist.”
Alanna Vagianos contributed reporting.