Trump Campaign Aide: “We Have Three Major Voter Suppression Operations Underway”
One of the strategies involves the use of Facebook to target African Americans.
A senior Trump official has said that the campaign currently has “three major voter suppression operations under way,” one of which involves delivering anti-Clinton messages through Facebook “dark posts,” Bloomberg reports.
The aide, who remained unnamed, told Bloomberg that in addition to having rolled out anti-Clinton spots on African American radio stations in San Antonio, Texas, the campaign will now target that voter demographic on Facebook by delivering an animated clip that mimics Clinton’s 1996 line in which she called African Americans “super predators.”
Facebook dark posts — which are essentially unpublished posts that appear in News Feed but not on the page itself — allow campaigns to communicate directly with certain individuals so that, according to Trump marketing specialist Brad Parscale, “only the people who want to see it, see it.”
The unnamed official said that the ultimate goal was to minimize Clinton’s total vote potential.
“We know because we’ve modeled this,” the official said. “It will dramatically affect her ability to turn these people out.”
A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement that the company's tools "allow advertisers to reach the audiences they want. Groups using Facebook advertising to encourage people to support or oppose a particular candidate or initiative is not unique to our platform, this campaign, or this election.”
The Trump camp has made other efforts to turn black voters away from Clinton, including spreading messages in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood about the Clinton Foundation’s questionable efforts in the Caribbean country.
The other two demographics the Trump campaign is aiming to influence are white liberals and young women.
Trump’s team has leaned heavily on Clinton’s WikiLeaks emails and her backing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to repel former supporters of Bernie Sanders, and they have been targeting young women by repeatedly engaging the women who have alleged that they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton.