President Donald Trump visits Columbia to speak at criminal justice forum

President Donald Trump and a number of Democratic presidential candidates are speaking at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College.
Updated: Oct. 25, 2019 at 10:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - President Donald Trump visited Columbia on Friday to discuss criminal justice reform.

The president was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum hosted by Benedict College, where many Democratic presidential hopefuls will speak this weekend. (Go to one hour into the video to watch his speech.)

During his visit, the president received the Bipartisan Justice Award for his efforts to pass the First Step Act in 2018.

The First Step Act reduced mandatory minimums and freed thousands of people from federal prison who had been incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses.

It also aims to reduce recidivism and create programs to support incarcerated individuals once they’re released.

In fact, the name of the forum in Columbia draws inspiration from that act. It seeks to find what the president, and presidential candidates, believe the next step is in criminal justice reform.

Friday, Trump called up three people affected by the First Step Act: Tanesha Bannister, Alice Johnson and Gerome Brown.

Alice Johnson is a well known name after the president granted her clemency and vacated her sentence when Kanye and Kim Kardashian West partnered with him to work on reform.

The president also talked about African American poverty levels. He says they are at their lowest recorded level.

Trump also highlighted the work of several local leaders including his lasting relationship with Gov. Henry McMaster, and his support from Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham.

But he highlighted two people throughout... here’s what president trump had to say about the work of Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey graham.

The president said more and more African Americans support his policy agenda.

Democratic candidates will speak over the weekend and take questions from those in attendance. For information on tickets, click or tap here.

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