Kamala Harris skipping South Carolina forum over Trump award

South Carolina News

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris speaks during a rally at Aiken High School in Aiken, S.C. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris is pulling out of a South Carolina criminal justice forum over organizers’ handling of President Donald Trump’s appearance.

The California senator’s campaign said Friday that Harris would skip the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center event Saturday at Benedict College, a historically black college in Columbia.

Harris said she objected to the group’s decision to give Trump its Bipartisan Justice Award. She received the award in 2016.

“Donald Trump is a lawless President,” she said in a statement. “Not only does he circumvent the laws of our country and the principles of our Constitution, but there is nothing in his career that is about justice, for justice, or in celebration of justice.”

Trump received the award Friday for his work on criminal justice reform with the First Step Act, which has allowed thousands of nonviolent offenders to gain early release from federal prison.

Harris also complained that only a handful of Benedict students were ticketed for Trump’s appearance. Most seats were occupied by administration officials and Trump supporters.

She was among 10 Democrats expected at the forum. Instead, she planned to host her own criminal justice roundtable.

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