Trump in 2011: Hillary Clinton 'did probably as much as anybody' for the black community

Story highlights

  • "Here's two people, Hillary and Bill Clinton, who really devoted a lot to African Americans," Trump said.
  • "They did probably as much as anybody," Trump added.

(CNN)In a contrast to his statements on the campaign trail, Donald Trump has in the past praised both Bill and Hillary Clinton for their relationship with the black community, a review of his public statements by CNN's KFile reveals.

In 2011, Trump discussed how the Clintons were labeled as racist during the 2008 primary campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama, comparing it to how he was being labeled a racist for pushing the conspiracy theory about Obama's birthplace.
"Clinton was made into a racist by Obama, and he's never forgotten it," Trump said in New Hampshire in August 2011, according to The New Hampshire Union Leader. "And there's nobody that's less of a racist than Bill Clinton."
    "Here's two people, Hillary and Bill Clinton, who really devoted a lot to African Americans," Trump said. "They did probably as much as anybody, and he made them into racists."
    The comments mirror ones Trump made to radio host Sean Hannity on his show in September of that year.
    "Whether you like them, or don't like them, they have done so much for the African Americans," he said of the Clintons.
    In multiple appearances on Fox News, Trump defended Bill Clinton against claims of racism, calling him at one point, "the least racist person that you will ever meet."
    A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not return a request for comment.
    A report in Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday quoted what they described as a senior campaign official outlining a plan to depress turnout of black voters who support Hillary Clinton by highlighting her 1996 comment about "superpredators" when referring to children in gangs. Trump campaign senior communications adviser Jason Miller denied the report to CNN's Jake Tapper, saying, "First of all, whoever gave that anonymous quote or not for attribution quote, either A) was not qualified to give such a quote, of B) had no idea what they were talking about."
      In 1996, Clinton made a speech in New Hampshire touting the 1994 crime bill her husband passed into law. In the speech, Clinton said, "Just as in a previous generation we had an organized effort against the mob. We need to take these people on. They are often connected to big drug cartels, they are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators — no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first, we have to bring them to heel."
      Black activists have criticized and publicly challenged Clinton this election cycle for the comment. She apologized in a statement to the Washington Post, saying, "Looking back, I shouldn't have used those words, and I wouldn't use them today."