Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders featured disgraced Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King in a new political ad published on Tuesday.
According to his website, King is a journalist, leader and advocate for justice, families and victims of discrimination.
King acts as an official surrogate in the new presidential campaign ad, alongside former George W. Bush aide Elise Jordan, and says millions of Americans voted “against their own self-interest” by voting for President Donald Trump in 2016.
“Bernie resonates in places where Trump won,” he said.
King goes on to say that Sanders “crushed it” during the Democratic Party’s primary election in the states Trump won in 2016.
“Donald Trump exploited real pain and problems in this country and began to scapegoat African-Americans, immigrants, other marginalized communities, LGBTQ folk, as demagogues always do,” he said.
“And Donald Trump as a con man began making promises that he never intended to keep.”
He added, “Bernie said the Democratic and Republican establishment has failed people all over the country, and people feel that failure and take it personally. Donald Trump understood that and exploited it for his own gain.”
“When Bernie wins the nomination, Bernie is going to take this fight to Trump in all 50 states and fight to win the hearts, the minds and votes of everyday people all over the country,” King said.
King seems to be a strange choice for the presidential campaign built around Sanders’ purported authenticity.
“We never aim to replicate the power dynamic of the system we are up against — a system that embraces a devious lack of transparency, willingly sacrifices the vulnerable to protect itself, and replaces truth with convenient lies,” McKesson wrote last September. “Yet Shaun King has done just that.”
McKesson added that while he appreciates that King’s journalism has brought attention to stories that would have otherwise gone overlooked, “the person who paints your house before he steals your car has still committed theft.”
McKesson cited a “lack of transparency” on King’s funding and said “those who attempt to lead but consistently demonstrate that they cannot effectively lead should stop. We have reached that point with Shaun.”
Moreover, King has been accused of lying about being black.
“A family member tells CNN that both of King’s parents are white,” CNN’s Don Lemon said on the air in 2015.
Despite those controversies — and King pointing out Sanders’ “white privilege” during a rally — Sanders still chose King as the lead figure in his new campaign video.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.