Video of Black Panthers founder claiming to support Trump is ‘a lie’, says grandson

Eric Jones seen in a video with his grandfather David Hilliard (Eric Jones via X)
Eric Jones seen in a video with his grandfather David Hilliard (Eric Jones via X)

A reporter has been accused of exploiting an elderly man with cognitive issues after publishing a video about a founding member of the Black Panther Party supposedly endorsing Donald Trump for president.

The video was uploaded to TikTok by Carol Mitchell, according to the New York Post, and showed 81-year-old Black Panther founder David Hilliard endorsing Trump.

Mitchell reportedly removed the video after Hilliard’s grandson Eric Jones threatened to obtain a cease and desist order. He said on social media that his grandfather is not a Trump supporter and was manipulated in the video due to his ongoing “cognitive issues.”

In a reposted version of the video, a woman believed to be Mitchell is seen introducing Hilliard.

“I want you to meet someone who knew Donald Trump, and he’s going to tell you about Donald Trump in his own words,” she says before passing the camera over to Hilliard.

“My name is David Hilliard, a founding member of the Black Panther Party,” Hilliard is then heard saying. “I knew Trump when Trump was a college student in New York, and he supported the Black Panther Party. That’s how I know Trump.”

Hilliard then describes Trump as “a decent man” and “someone who gave us [Black Panthers] money.”

“Trump is a friend of African Americans, and I knew Trump from the 1960s in New York—where he comes from,” Hilliard continues. “Not a racist as a white man. He supported Black people.”

He goes on to claim that Trump owned every brownstone in Harlem at the time before Mitchell chimes in to claim that Trump has always been “familiarized with the Black community,” to which Hilliard agrees.

Mitchell later asks Hilliard why Trump was charged in his hush-money case and “why they’re afraid they’re afraid of him to be president.”

“Because Trump likes Africans in America. He likes Black folks,” Hilliard responds. “I think Trump is very qualified and decent.”

“He knows how to make money. He knows how to lose money. So, he would be the perfect person to help us get our own again,” Mitchell then says of Trump.

Following the publication of the video, Jones sought to deny that his grandfather, who was Chief of Staff for the Black Panther Party, was a Trump supporter.

He posted his own video to X, claiming that Mitchell allegedly “misrepresented some of [Hilliard’s] views on Donald Trump and this 34 guilty verdict-count.”

He said that his grandfather had been dealing with cognitive issues since 2014 and could only recall parts of the past, in which Trump was Hilliard’s realtor.

He said his grandfather was not even aware that Trump is currently a politician.

“That’s purely speaking in terms of the past,” Jones said of his grandfather’s remarks in the video “That is not a nod of support to any of today’s political climate—with Donald Trump or with any other candidate.”

“A lie spreads so much faster than the truth smh,” he wrote. “These people done tried to make my Grandpa a Maga representer. Not on my watch.”

By Wednesday afternoon, Mitchell’s video had been removed, and no link was provided in the Leading Report’s post nor on its website. However, posts and retweets containing the video remained on Mitchell’s X page.

The Black Panther Party was a Marxist–Leninist and black power political organization founded by college students Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in October 1966 in Oakland, California.

The Independent has contacted Carol Mitchell for comment.