Trump Trolls Kamala Harris Over Criminal Justice Award He Received at Historically Black College

President Donald Trump gloated Saturday morning after he was awarded the "Bipartisan Justice Award" at a historically black college in South Carolina, going on to mock Senator Kamala Harris for boycotting the event.

Harris announced Friday she was refusing to attend the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College this weekend, saying she cannot be "complicit in papering over" Trump's record of "celebrating mass incarceration."

Update: Harris pulled back on her boycott plans, reportedly now planning to attend.

Trump ridiculed the 2020 Democratic candidate for president on Twitter Saturday morning, saying he is the only lawmaker who has been able to help the African American community.

"Badly failing presidential candidate @KamalaHarris will not go to a very wonderful largely African American event today because yesterday I recieved [sic] a major award, at the same event, for being able to produce & sign into law major Criminal Justice Reform legislation," Trump tweeted Saturday morning.


"[My criminal justice reform legislation] will greatly help the African American community (and all other communities), and which was unable to get done in past administrations despite a tremendous desire for it. This and best unemployment numbers EVER is more than Kamala will EVER be able to do for African Americans!" Trump continued.

Harris, who was slated to attend the forum Saturday, remarked the only part of "criminal justice" reform Trump understands is the part about being a "criminal."

"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," Harris remarked on Twitter Saturday morning in response to Trump's earlier prodding.


The 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, which organized the HBCU event honoring Trump, cited his efforts to pass the First Step Act earlier this year. "We are now proving that we are a nation that believes in redemption," Trump remarked at the White House in April.

Amid reports that only a handful of students were allowed to attend the Benedict College event for Trump's reception of the award, Harris rattled off several grievances she has with his administration's criminal justice policies. Only about seven students attended the event and none were allowed to ask questions.

"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," Harris said in the statement.

"As the only candidate who attended an HBCU, I know the importance that these spaces hold for young Black Americans," she added. Harris noted she will hold a criminal justice roundtable in South Carolina Saturday instead of attending the event.

The Bipartisan Justice Award was previously awarded to Harris and South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott.

kamala harris trump criminal justice
Senator Kamala Harris said President Trump only understands the "criminal" portion of a justice reform award he received Friday at a historically black college in South Carolina. CHIP SOMODEVILLA/Staff/Getty Images