President Donald Trump’s attacks on prominent African-Americans have alarmed civil rights advocates and rattled some Republicans who fear his rhetoric could add to Democratic chances of capturing the House of Representatives in this year’s midterm elections.

Trump drew a barrage of criticism Tuesday for describing former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman – one of the only African-Americans who worked in his West Wing – as a “dog,” the latest flare-up in a pattern of heated tweets directed at people of color.

While Trump has long been unpopular with black voters, political operatives in both parties say the high-profile battles with Manigault Newman, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Rep. Maxine Waters of California risk souring suburban voters and boosting African-American turnout in November.

“For a lot of those suburban voters, this is upsetting to them,” said Telly Lovelace, a former Republican National Committee aide in charge of black outreach. 

“This is not what he needs to be doing.”

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