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(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Former President Donald Trump said he was speaking to President Joe Biden’s worst nightmare while courting Black conservatives at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia, South Carolina: “Hundreds of proud Black conservative American patriots.”

Trump spent the night using racially charged sentiments by suggesting he has strengthened his appeal to Black Americans by claiming they relate to his multiple criminal indictments.

“I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time and a lot of people said that that’s why the Black people like me because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against. And they actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against. It’s been pretty amazing,” Trump said to applause.

He continued, asserting that Black people are starting to turn to him because “what’s happening to me, happens to them,” centering his appeal to Black voters by equating his criminal prosecutions to the historic discrimination Black Americans have faced.

“I think that’s why the Black people are so much on my side now because they see what’s happening to me happens to them. Does that make sense?”

Trump is charged with 91 felony counts and faces charges including racketeering, conspiracy to obstruct justice and falsifying business records.

Throughout the evening, Trump portrayed himself as a victim of an unjust criminal justice system which he said appeals to Black voters, especially in the Fulton County election interference case, where he was ordered to take a mugshot.

“My mug shot, we’ve all seen the mug shot. And you know who embraced it more than anybody else: the Black population. It’s incredible,” he said.

Trump’s comments come as he also likened himself to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in the wake of Navalny’s death, saying the more than $350 million in penalties he faces in his New York civil fraud trial are a “form of Navalny.”

Trump was joined on stage by the leaders of the organization as well as some of his Black political allies, including Reps. Byron Donalds and Wesley Hunt and his former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson who engaged with him repeatedly as he made off-the-cuff remarks.

“These lights are so bright in my eyes that I can’t see too many people out there. But I can only see the Black ones. I can’t see any white ones. You see, that’s how far I’ve come. That’s how far I’ve come,” Trump said, quipping about a racial stereotype that Black people can’t be seen in the dark as the lawmakers laughed behind him.

The ballroom was mainly filled with Black Republicans who seemed to enthusiastically cheer the former president on from their dinner tables.

“That’s real,” Kevin McGaray told ABC News. “We get picked on all the time unnecessarily and, and he understands what that feels like now, so there’s a connection.”

McGary is a Black Republican from San Francisco. He voted for Trump in 2020 and 2016.

“I appreciate the track record that he has with the Black community,” he said. “Everything he did was on point for communities of color. So I appreciate that.”

Meanwhile onstage, Trump touted his policy appeals to the room which included boasting about his help in securing the passage of the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice bill, and claimed he was able to help economic growth in the Black community.

Voters like Karqueta Lindsey from Raleigh, North Carolina, don’t like the way he compares his legal troubles to Black Americans. However she tells ABC News that his “words” on race are not a deal breaker.

“I’m not saying that everything that Donald Trump says that I’m for it, but I’m not for 100% of what any politician says,” Lindsey said. “I am pro-life and the borders need to be secured. So those are things that affect me, not the words.”

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