Blake Masters, Trump-backed Senate candidate, blames 'Black people, frankly' for gun violence

WASHINGTON – A U.S. Senate candidate in Arizona who has been endorsed by Donald Trump blamed "Black people" for gang warfare and gun violence. 

Discussing the "gun violence problem" on a talk show two months ago, Senate candidate Blake Masters said: “It’s gangs. It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other. Very often, you know, Black people, frankly. And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about that.”

Masters, a venture capitalist who has major financial backing from tech billionaire Peter Thiel, is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in the Arizona primary on Aug. 2.

The comments about Black people came on “The Jeff Oravits Show” in April.

Opinion:Blake Masters blames Black people for gun violence. But remember, he's no racist

The endorsement:Donald Trump endorses Blake Masters in Arizona's GOP Senate race

In a statement, Masters stood by his comments and criticized "the media backlash" accusing him of racism.

"Journalists only cover shootings where the shooters and victims fit a certain profile," Masters said. "But most victims of gun murder in America are black men. And most perpetrators of gun murder in America are black men. These are simple facts, go look up the FBI crime statistics and CDC cause of death data while you still can."

Masters said: "There's an epidemic of violence that’s killing young black men in America," and "I actually want to solve it."

Trump endorsed Masters last week, calling him "one of the most successful businessmen and investors in the Country, having led a multi-billion-dollar firm that invests in new technology and many other emerging companies."

Masters also backs Trump's false claims about voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election in which President Joe Biden carried the state of Arizona.

Trump is seeking to defeat another Republican Senate candidate, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, saying he did not do enough to help him overturn his election loss to Biden.

Masters and other Republicans are vying for the right to challenge Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly.

Democrats and Kelly are already targeting Masters, saying he has said outrageous things about the migrants, the media and political opponents in general.

CNN broadcast audio Wednesday in which Masters suggested to supporters that the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, was triggered by undercover FBI agents.

"Don't we suspect that like one-third of the people outside of the Capitol complex on January 6 were actual FBI agents hanging out," Masters said during a meeting on March 30, according to CNN. "What did people know and when did they know it? We got to get to the bottom of this."

Masters has also been videotaped aggressively shoving a man wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt who attended one of his campaign events.

The candidate said the man was threatening one of his supporters.

Tweeted Masters: "LOL I called it — the media tries to make *me* the bad guy, for defending a woman after she was punched. 10/10 would do again."