President Donald Trump on Monday retweeted a widely scrutinized video of a St. Louis couple aiming guns at a protest march.
The couple, who are White, stood in front of their home, both armed with guns, shouting back and forth with a march that included Black Lives Matter protesters, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. One of the people was aiming a gun directly at demonstrators, who were marching on the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson to demand her resignation after she read aloud names and addresses of protesters who wanted to cut police funding.
Trump retweeted the ABC News video without comment, appearing to endorse the couple’s stance. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Sunday, Trump retweeted a video of his supporters arguing with critics in Florida, including one who shouted “white power.” Trump later deleted his tweet, and the White House said he hadn’t heard the phrase.
The president on Monday also retweeted a series of wanted posters from U.S. park police seeking to identify people suspected of vandalizing statues near the White House.
“I don’t like to see people hurt,” the president said. “But he put himself right into the midst of the soldiers. These police, they meant business. They were walking and he puts himself right there. And you could tell they knew him. They knew him. But he’s had a long history. Too bad he had to get hurt.”
Gugino is a longtime antiwar activist in the area, though there is no evidence that he is part of antifa or that he deliberately provoked police into shoving him to the ground, as the president has alleged.
Gugino is recovering from his wounds in an undisclosed location, as his attorney said this week that he has received several death threats since a video of him cracking his skull on the sidewalk after being shoved by an officer went viral.
President Donald Trump threatened to crack down on protesters expected to show up at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday, the first such event since the coronavirus pandemic sidelined his campaign schedule.
“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “It will be a much different scene!”
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said Trump was referring to “destructive” protesters, noting that buildings have been burned, looted, and vandalized during recent demonstrations against police brutality.
“These things are unacceptable,” she said. “And we will not see that in Oklahoma.”
The president’s tweet came hours after Tulsa mayor G. T. Bynum imposed a curfew, citing expected rally crowds of more than 100,000, planned protests and the civil unrest that has already erupted in the city and around the nation this month.
Trump drew widespread and bipartisan criticism for his last interaction with protesters, when U.S. Park Police and other law enforcement agencies used force to clear Lafayette Square near the White House so the president could pose with a Bible in front of the historic St. John’s Church.
The latest threat also drew fire.
William Kristol, former editor of The Weekly Standard, posted on Twitter that the constitutional right “of protesters are the same in Tulsa as elsewhere in the US. So are the 1A rights of Trump supporters. It’s up to OK and Tulsa authorities to follow the law and protect all citizens. But what Trump’s doing is inciting his followers to extra-legal action.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Trump of “threatening peaceful protesters standing up for justice.”
President Donald Trump praised the use of tear gas and other force to disperse Minneapolis protesters, calling it a “beautiful scene” and describing the National Guard’s actions “like a knife cutting butter.”
“I’ll never forget. You saw the scene on that road … they were lined up. Man, they just walked straight. And yes, there was some tear gas and probably some other things,” Trump said in opening remarks at a roundtable on policing and race. “And the crowd dispersed and they went through. By the end of that evening, and it was a short evening, everything was fine.”
Trump’s event at a conservative, evangelical and predominantly white church in Dallas on Thursday afternoon came as the White House has yet to announce what new measures it might support in response to the protests against racial injustice that have gripped the nation since the killing of George Floyd by a police officer.
Trump did not mention Floyd by name in his remarks but suggested the work of confronting bigotry and prejudice will “go quickly and it’ll go very easily.”
“But we’ll make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racist or bigots,” the president said.
He has largely criticized the protests that took place in cities across the United States, including Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed. Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz activated its National Guard after three nights of protests and violent riots; on Thursday, Walz endorsed a package of sweeping police reforms.
In response to the national reckoning over police brutality and America’s systemic racism, Democrats unveiled sweeping police reform legislation, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican member of the Senate, is spearheading proposals in his chamber.
Trump offered some broad outlines of the steps he might embrace to answer the national demand for action. He told the roundtable participants he was working on an executive order to “encourage police departments nationwide to meet the most current professional standards for the use of force, including tactics for de-escalation.”
He defended police officers and slammed calls to “defund” them, saying it means people want to get rid of law enforcement. Most advocates use the term to mean the reallocation of police budgets to social services including housing and education.
“We have to respect our police. We have to take care of our police. They’re protecting us. And if they’re allowed to do their job, they’ll do a great job,” Trump said. “And you always have a bad apple. No matter where you go, you have bad apples and there not too many of them.”
Hours after the event, Trump weighed in on the debate in more provocative terms. “The Radical Left Democrats: First they try to take away your guns. Then they try to take away your police!” he tweeted.
The president’s more concrete actions in the past 24 hours appear aimed at his political base rather than the multiracial nation he governs.
That includes publicly rejecting the idea of renaming military bases whose names honor Confederate military figures — an idea that had been under consideration at the Pentagon — and threatening a federal response to “ugly Anarchists” protesting in Seattle.
Trump’s campaign released an ad Wednesday focused on his self-proclaimed credentials as a law-and-order president while seeking to cast Biden as overly supportive of those who have protested Floyd’s death.
“Antifa destroys our communities. Rioting. Looting. Yet Joe Biden kneels down,” the narrator says, as footage of Biden kneeling at a church in Wilmington, Del., is superimposed over images of violent protests.
“For weeks we’ve seen President Trump run away from a meaningful conversation on systemic racism and police brutality,” the former vice president said. “Instead, he has further divided our country. Today’s trip to Texas won’t change any of that. President Trump is more interested in photo ops than offering a healing voice as our nation mourns.”
President Donald Trump tweeted out a letter Thursday that referred to a group of protesters as “terrorists,” following their violent ouster from a park near the White House earlier this week.
The letter is signed by Trump’s former lawyer John Dowd and addressed to “Jim” in a probable reference to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It lambasted the former Pentagon chief after he called out Trump on Wednesday for threatening a military response to protests that have engulfed cities across the country. In his letter, Dowd referred to a group of protesters who were violently forced out of Washington’s Lafayette Square on Monday as “terrorists using idle hate … to burn and destroy.”
“They were abusing and disrespecting the police when the police were preparing the area for the 1900 curfew,” the letter said.
The White House did not immediately respond when asked whether Trump views the protesters as “terrorists”.
Protesters had gathered in the park to express their outrage at the death of a black Minnesota man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer, with video showing a largely peaceful — if tense — demonstration. Police charged into the protesters about 30 minutes before the city’s 7 p.m. curfew, throwing chemical irritants and hitting protesters and journalists with shields and rubber bullets.
Trump later walked out of the White House through the cleared area for a photo-op in front of St. John’s Epsicopal Church across from the square.
Mattis joined a symphony of condemnations, which came from both parties, characterizing the episode as a grotesque abuse of power.
“Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath [to defend the Constitution] would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside,” Mattis wrote in a statement to journalists on Wednesday.
On Thursday, several protesters and the Washington, D.C., chapter of Black Lives Matter sued Trump, along with other law enforcement leadership they identified as leading the Monday clash, accusing them of violating the protesters’ rights to free assembly and freedom from unreasonable seizure.
Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is among the organizations representing the plaintiffs, decried Dowd’s letter as “abhorrent and a completely false characterization of the peacefully assembled demonstrators who were dispersed through state-sanctioned violence at the hands of government officials.”
“It is remarkable,” Clarke said in a statement to POLITICO on Thursday night, “that President Trump objects so vehemently to those speaking out against racial and police violence while embracing gun-toting activists who take siege of government buildings and violent white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville.”
President Donald Trump on Monday lashed out at governors during a White House videoconference, telling them that “most of you are weak” after states grappled with another night of anger and unrest following the killing of George Floyd last week.
In audio of the call obtained by NBC News, Trump berated governors for their response to the protests, repeatedly criticizing New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and urged law enforcement to crack down and make more arrests.
“You have to arrest people, you have to try people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” Trump said on the call.
Trump called the governors “fools” and expressed anger with Democratic mayors in particular over the protests and unrest ravaging cities nationwide. He was described by one person on the call as “losing it.”
“You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time, they’re gonna run over you, you’re gonna look like a bunch of jerks,” the president said.
The president also called the initial response in Minnesota “weak and pathetic” and called the state a “laughingstock all over the world.”
Trump focused primarily on “antifa,” or anti-fascists, and Occupy Wall Street, which he said was handled well by comparison.
“This is like Occupy Wall Street. It was a disaster. Until one day somebody said, that’s enough,” Trump said.
Attorney General Bill Barr told the governors that the Justice Department believes protestors are heading to other states with less of a law enforcement presence “where they can go and overwhelm the local police forces.” Barr said there needs to be a focus on stopping “professional instigators and the leadership group.”
During the call, Trump claimed to have intelligence showing who the “bad actors” and professional instigators are, though he did not elaborate.
Trump also asked states to enact laws against flag burning saying the federal government would back them up if they did.
The White House billed the event as a “video teleconference with governors, law enforcement, and national security officials on keeping American communities safe.”
Several governors pushed back on Trump’s narrative, including J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, a Democrat, who told Trump he was “extraordinarily concerned about the rhetoric that’s been used by you. It’s been inflammatory.”
Maine Gov. Janet Mills, also a Democrat, said she was concerned about the president visiting her state this week because of security issues. Trump later said that the governor’s concerns made it more likely he would go to the state.
“You know, she’s tried to talk me out of it, I think she probably talked me into it,” Trump said. “She just doesn’t understand me very well.”
Maine is home to Puritan Medical Products, the company the administration compelled through the Defense Production Act to produce coronavirus testing swabs.
Maine is home to Puritan Medical Products, the company the administration compelled through the Defense Production Act to produce coronavirus testing swabs.
Trump’s response to the unrest has been to call for stronger law enforcement rather than calling for calm or addressing the concerns about police brutality and racism that many protestors say drove them to come out. Critics say an escalation in force would exacerbate already high tensions between protestors and the police.
After another night of protests led to fires and vandalism blocks from the White House, Trump spent Monday morning on Twitter blaming the unrest on antifa and accusing staffers of former Vice President Joe Biden of “working to get the anarchists out of jail.”
Trump had no public events scheduled for Monday, after not appearing in public on Sunday.
Trump’s advisers have been divided over what role the president should take in responding to the widest unrest the country has seen in decades. Some say the president should focus his message on Floyd, the black man who died last week at the hands of Minneapolis police, and urge calm.
Others say the top priority is stopping the violence and looting that have taken place in some areas, arguing that the best path to that end is strong police tactics, not presidential speeches.
President Donald Trump promoted a video on Twitter late Wednesday night that opens with Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin declaring that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Griffin made these comments at a New Mexico church while rallying a crowd to protest stay at home guidelines and amid the coronavirus. “I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to a conclusion where the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” Griffin said, adding that he didn’t mean that in a “physical sense,” but in a “political sense.”
The video of which was featured in a Wednesday story by The Daily Beast and was shared widely, which the Cowboys for Trump twitter account replied with “The news is fake.” It’s not clear what news was fake as The Daily Beast article and tweet accurately portrayed what any viewer could see in the video. Nonetheless, Trump quote tweeted the video and added “Thank you Cowboys. See in you New Mexico!”
In an interview with The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer, Griffin said “I could’ve chosen a different verbiage, you know. I guess I need to be more careful when I choose the words that I speak,” Griffin said. “But you know, it’s just so hypocritical of the left how they’re blowing this up, like I’m some hate-speech murderer.”
Griffin is an avid Trump supporter and the reaction on Twitter is exactly what one might expect, and almost certainly pleases the political self-promoter.
On Thursday, Kevin Vesey, a TV reporter for News12 Long Island, visited a local protest against the remaining restrictions put in place by New York to stem the spread of the coronavirus, filing a studiously restrained segment for broadcast.
But on Twitter, he decided to share a small piece of raw footage showing how he was harassed by the demonstrators as he went about his job of capturing their demands and relaying them to a wider audience. The footage circulated widely among journalists on Thursday and Friday, often accompanied by laments about the protesters’ targeting of Vesey. In under a minute, the video captures him being called “traitor,” “hack,” “disgusting,””the enemy of the people,” and, inevitably, “fake news.” All are, of course, phrases President Donald Trump has deployed against journalists who cover his administration.
On Friday night, the President himself retweeted the video, mimicking a chant the protestors had shouted: “Fake news is nonessential.” On Saturday morning, he retweeted it again, endorsing his supporters’ harassment by calling them “great people” and claiming that “people can’t get enough of this.”
Vesey shared the footage with his Twitter followers because it made him alarmed. Trump shared the footage with his Twitter followers because it made him proud.
President Donald Trump attacked his security people as they dragged
protesters out of his Michigan rally on Wednesday. Protesters flashed
middle fingers as well as a giant banner reading, “Don the Con — you’re
“She’ll catch hell when she gets back home with mom,” Trump said.
“You know, she screams a little bit and you know what I like to do to
avoid them. Because I’ll tell you the big problem, I can hardly hear
her. What happens is all of you people go, ‘Look, look, look.’ And the
place — so there’s one disgusting person who made — wait, wait — who, I
wouldn’t say this, but who made a horrible gesture with the wrong
finger, right? Now, they won’t say that, the fake news media. They won’t
say it. If one of us did that it would be like the biggest story ever.”
“And I’ll tell you another thing,” Trump continued. “I don’t know who
the security company is but the police came up, but they want to be so
politically correct. So they don’t grab her wrist lightly. Get her out!
They say, ‘Oh, will you please come? Please come with me. Sir. Ma’am.
Will you — and then she gives the guy the finger. Oh. Oh. You gotta get a
little bit stronger than that folks.”
The finger was not for those dragging the protester out of the area, rather it was for Trump.
Trump has been attacked over the past months for refusing to pay for
security bills for his campaign. It’s unknown if this security team that
Trump attacked Wednesday will get paid.
President Donald Trump appeared to suggest House Intelligence
Chairman Adam Schiff should be violently punished, and lamented that
because the California Democratic Congressman has “immunity” he won’t be
The irony of the president’s hypocrisy appeared to escape Trump. In
the Mueller report alone at least ten possibly criminal acts Trump
appears to have committed were outlined, but because of a DOJ policy he
cannot be prosecuted.
The president attacked Chairman Schiff for an early impeachment hearing in which the Chairman delivered opening remarks clearly summarizing via parody the effects of Trump’s infamous July 25 call with the president of Ukraine. Trump and Republicans have latched on to those comments claiming Schiff was lying or somehow falsifying the record, which is untrue.
In his Tuesday remarks to reporters President Trump, meeting with the President of Guatemala, blasted Chairman Schiff.
“When you have a guy like Shifty Schiff go out and make up a
statement that I made, he said, this is what he said but I never said
it. He totally made it up. In Guatemala they handle things much tougher
than that,” he said, referring to Schiff’s remarks.