DNC targets Trump campaign rally with ‘convicted white-collar crook’ billboard

<span>Donald Trump speaks outside court in New York on 29 May 2024.</span><span>Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Donald Trump speaks outside court in New York on 29 May 2024.Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

Democrats will target Donald Trump’s first full-scale campaign rally since his criminal trial with a billboard that brands him “a convicted white-collar crook”.

Related: ‘Rigged’: Trump attacks judge and courts in first post-conviction rally

The ad, paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), is the latest indication that the party is ready to become more aggressive in capitalising on last month’s guilty verdict in New York.

“Trump was a disaster for Nevada’s economy,” says the billboard, which will be displayed in Las Vegas, where Trump is due to speak on Sunday. “Now he’s back. A convicted white-collar crook. Coddling billionaires, leaving workers behind.”

A Manhattan jury found Trump guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his hush-money criminal trial, making him the the first former US president to be convicted of a felony. Judge Juan Merchan set a sentencing hearing for 11 July.

But Democrats have been unsure how far to go in hammering home the verdict to voters in this year’s presidential election campaign. Some fear it could fuel a narrative that the trial was politically motivated and backfire by generating sympathy for the presumptive Republican nominee.

However, this week there have been signs of a more direct approach. On Monday, at a campaign reception in Greenwich, Connecticut, Joe Biden referred to his opponent as a “convicted felon”.

The Las Vegas billboard attempts to tie Trump’s criminal record to his economic one, portraying him as a “white-collar crook” who ripped off Nevada’s working class when he was president. The phrase also has echoes of the “Crooked Hillary” label that proved effective for Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Stephanie Justice, a DNC spokesperson, said: “As Donald Trump returns to Nevada this weekend for the first time as a convicted felon, voters will remember this crook left Nevada’s workers out to dry as president.

“After promising to take care of Nevada’s middle class, he implemented a tax scam that made the ultra-wealthy and corporations wealthier off the backs of working families, repeatedly attacked unions and sat back as Nevada bled tens of thousands of jobs.”

Justice added: “Now he’s promising tax handouts to his billionaire donors instead of putting the interests of working Nevadans first. Nevada voters know that Trump is too corrupt and unfit to serve, and will reject him again in 2024.”

The political impact of Trump’s conviction remains uncertain, but a post-verdict analysis of nearly 2,000 interviews with voters who previously participated in New York Times/Siena College surveys found that Trump’s lead over Biden narrowed from three points to just one point.

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