Who really is that man waving 'Blacks for Trump' sign at rallies?

At President Trump's rally Tuesday night in Phoenix, a familiar black man could be seen near the podium waving a 'Blacks for Trump' sign.
By Ian Marsh | Aug 27, 2017
At President Trump's rally Tuesday night in Phoenix, a familiar black man could be seen near the podium waving a 'Blacks for Trump' sign.

Calling himself "Michael the Black Man," he has been spotted at a number of Trump rallies over the past two years. He is such an enthusiastic and vocal supporter as well as being a rare black face in the usual landscape of white faces seen at Trump events that some have wondered if he could be a plant.

But the tale of Michael the Black Man also known as Michael Symonette, Maurice Woodside, and Mikael Israel is even weirder than that.

Following his conspicuous presence at Trump's Phoenix rally, some curious folks lit up the Internet trying to get some background information on Michael the Black Man. It was not hard to find.

It turns out Michael the Black Man once belonged to a black supremacist religious cult and was charged with conspiracy to commit two murders in the 1990s, according to the Chicago Tribune. He was acquitted of the charges.

More recently, he has been operating several websites promoting bizarre conspiracy theories.

One site, called honestfact.com, makes the claim that the "CHEROKEE Indians (Hidden Babylonians)" are the "REAL KKK Slave Masters." It also shouts, "ISIS AND HILLARY RACE WAR TO KILL ALL BLACK & WHITE WOMAN OF AMERICA WITH MS-13."

In July, Michael the Black Man posted images of himself at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club, posing with the local GOP chairman, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and Melania Trump.

Trump has even called attention to Michael the Black Man during rallies.

"Look at those signs behind me," Trump said to an adoring crowd at a campaign rally in Oct. 2016. "Blacks for Trump. I like those signs."

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