Trump suppressing black votes: Krishnan Guru-Murthy explains to James O'Brien

29 September 2020, 16:23 | Updated: 29 September 2020, 16:37

By Fiona Jones

President Trump's campaign in 2016 characterised 3.5 million Black Americans as ‘Deterrence’, which is voters they wanted to stay home, it has been revealed. Krishnan Guru-Murthy explained to James O'Brien about his team's finding.

In one of the biggest leaks in history, Trump's 2016 digital campaign files contain "astonishingly detailed" data on around 200 million Americans.

This included peoples' hobbies at the time, where they shopped, what they bought, whether they were planning a baby and whether they had a dog, Mr Guru-Murthy said.

Trump's team then ranked each individual on their levels of support for Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

"Last night what we wanted to reveal was that they categorised a huge group of Americans who they knew they couldn't convert into Trump supporters into a category called "Deterrence". The aim was to deter them from voting at all," Mr Guru-Murthy said.

He continued: "Around three and a half million Black Americans were targeted by Facebook advertising and other media channels to deter them from voting.

"They would feed this data into Facebook, create tailored adverts to try and hit the issues that people care about."

Mr Guru-Murthy told James that in tonight's news, the team will focus on revealing more about those white voters who were considered "persuadable" towards Trump's campaign.

James pointed out that this is not necessarily proof that their attempts to manipulate people worked, which Mr Guru-Murthy acknowledged, and pointed out the lack of democracy in this move.

"You can't say why people acted in a particular way but you can examine the motives of the people planning the campaign," Mr Guru-Murthy said.

He questioned, "how democratic is it to try to get people not to take part in a democratic event."

"Is that in the spirit of the democracy that we have," the Channel 4 journalist said.

Watch the whole thrilling exchange in the video at the top of the page.