At Tuesday’s Trump event in Sanford, the Republican nominee praised the “great” “Blacks for Trump” signs behind him, one of which was held by a white woman and another by a man who goes by the name “Michael the Black Man.”
According to the Miami New Times, the man, who also goes by the names Maurice Woodside and Michael Symonette, was a former member of the Yahweh ben Yahweh cult. In 1990, the group’s charismatic leader, Hulon Mitchell Jr., was charged for conspiracy to murder. He required inductees to kill people to gain entry to the cult.
Though “Michael” was charged for allegedly conspiring in two murders and his brother testified that he stuck a sharpened stick into one man’s eyeball, he was not convicted. In the following years, according to the New Times, he was charged with other crimes including grand theft auto, carrying a weapon onto a plane, and threatening a law enforcement officer. He was never convicted.
The newspaper reported that “Michael” made a name for himself in the Miami area in recent years as a virulently anti-gay, anti-liberal preacher who has opened a rally for Rick Santorum and earned praise from Glenn Beck.
The Trump campaign has positioned him at the front of the crowd at multiple events, including a Sept. 17 rally in downtown Miami and another on Oct. 12 in Lakeland.
The "Blacks for Trump" signs "Michael" passes out at rallies feature the URL to his website, Gods2.com, which is full of anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy videos. Visitors can also purchase "Trump & Republicans Are Not Racist Gods2.com" shirts for $20.
“Michael” told the New Times that he is supporting Trump in part out of his loathing for Clinton.
"One reason is because Hillary's last name is Rodham, and their family members are Rothschilds, who enslaved 13,000 slaves as collateral," he said.
This post has been updated.