He backtracked on the abortion comment, but it has not mitigated the tsunami of outrage against him. A new poll shows that 73 percent of female registered voters have an unfavorable view of the GOP front-runner. And six recent polls, all taken in February, show Trump support among African-Americans ranging from 4 percent to 12 percent, according to the Public Policy Center.
So why then are two female, African-American YouTube personalities, Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson -- sisters from the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area who are better known by their video blogger names “Diamond and Silk” -- going so far out of their way to stick up for Trump?
“You know what we like about Donald Trump?” Hardaway told “Nightline.” “He’s going to do exactly what he says he’s going to do. I’m ready to feel like a woman again so let the man protect us.”
The sisters have hit several states to stump for Trump and have become regulars on cable news shows. Videos on their YouTube page, “The Viewers View,” totaled 6 million views and they have over 33,000 subscribers.
“We want someone who is going to work for the American people and not against the people,” Hardaway said.
“Diamond and Silk” have mastered the art of politics, dodging personal questions left and right, but they are happy to talk about Trump and their idea to support him last summer when he announced his candidacy for president.
“I said, ‘Silk, girl, cut on the TV. Donald Trump is announcing that he’s running for president,’” Hardaway said.
“And I stopped what I was doing and I cut on my TV,” Richardson added.
“And then she called me back and she said, ‘Girl, this is going to be our next president,’” Hardaway added. “And it’s been on ever since.”
The life-long Democrats said they switched their party affiliation to Republican in September so they could vote for Trump in the primary. They filmed the moment for their YouTube page and created an online campaign telling other voters how they could do the same.
“We wanted independents and Democrats to switch their parties to vote for Donald Trump in the primaries and the general election,” Hardaway said.
They began making videos regularly that eventually caught the attention of the Trump campaign and they were invited to attend his events in Wisconsin, Iowa and South Carolina, and were event given a chance to meet the man himself.
The sisters stonewalled about what Trump said to them when they met. “That’s none of your business,” Hardaway said.
The duo have posted over 125 videos in the past eight months. Some conservatives love them, but many black social media sites do not, with some calling them disgusting, ignorant and playing into unflattering stereotypes.
“Why is it that black people can get on TV and act a fool and it’s funny, but as soon as we get on a small YouTube channel, everybody got something to say,” Hardaway said. “As soon as this billionaire invited us onstage, now all the black people have something to say.”
But the sisters were less forthcoming about what they used to do before professionally stumping for Trump.
“Do we have to get all personal? Do we have to get into my business?” Hardaway said. “I thought this was about Donald Trump.”
After a little prodding, however, they said they were business owners. “We were entrepreneurs,” Hardaway said.
But when pressed for more details, she again said, “It’s really none of your business.”
“With all due respect,” Richardson added.
The sisters have gotten a lot of attention through their appearances at Trump events and their YouTube videos. As for whether they’ve benefited financially from their new-found fame, Hardaway said, “We’re not looking for anything to benefit us financially. However, we are entrepreneurs.”
The entrepreneurial spirit seems to run in the family. The sisters’ parents were televangelists who sold herbal pills on TV. Hardaway and Richardson sell merchandise on their website and feature it prominently on their webcasts, including “Bling mugs” for $25 and hoodies for $55.
In describing how business had been since their involvement with Trump, Hardaway said, “I guess it’s OK.”
“I tell you one thing, we employ some folks,” Richardson added.
“That’s right, because our stuff is made right here in America,” Hardaway said.
Trump has also boasted about his own campaign merchandise being made in America. “Nightline” took a look at Trump’s campaign filings and found the campaign has paid more than $2 million over the past six months to Ace Specialties, a promotional product company that supplies merchandise made in the United States and sold by the Trump campaign.
An Ace Specialties salesperson said the company also supplies merchandise for Diamond and Silk. But the official spokesperson for Ace did not respond to requests from “Nightline” for more information about their work with Trump and Diamond and Silk.
As for whether the Trump camp has a financial connection to Diamond and Silk, a campaign spokesperson said Diamond and Silk “have never been paid by the campaign, which you can verify in our FEC reports. There is no connection with Ace. We very much appreciate the unwavering support and enthusiasm, from Diamond and Silk.”
Trump introduced Diamond and Silk as his “two friends” at his event for veterans in Iowa in January, adding, “They’ve become very famous and very rich.”
Referring to the moment, Hardaway said, “Everyone always want to know, are we rich? Are we rich? We’re rich in spirit.”
When asked about Diamond and Silk’s YouTube income and merchandise sales, their spokesperson said she was unable to answer “due to the personal and proprietary nature of the questions.”