Rather than try and quell the unrest sweeping the United States over the death of George Floyd, Trump tweeted incendiary and violent comments.
Chaos gripped the United States over the weekend, as agitators helped turn peaceful protests against the killing of an unarmed black man by police into riots.
But rather than emerge from the White House to address the protesters and urge calm, Donald Trump chose instead to tweet incendiary comments appearing to call for martial law and urging his supporters to join the protests at the White House that turned violent as the sun set.
"Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. @SecretService," Trump tweeted Saturday morning, the night after protests first turned violent at the White House. Trump was taken to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center Friday night, a secure area underground at the White House where former Vice President Dick Cheney was taken during the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Trump then turned to violent rhetoric:
"They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn't have felt more safe. They let the 'protesters' scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard — didn't know what hit them. The front line was replaced with fresh agents, like magic. Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That's when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. 'We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and good practice.' As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand. Thank you! On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. 'Not their job.' Nice!"
Trump did not provide evidence to support that protesters were "professionally managed" and said Saturday night would be "MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE" — a reference to his "Make America Great Again" slogan and an apparent summons to his own supporters.
Trump again chose not to address the issue at the root of the protests, nor did he offer any unifying message. Instead, he attacked state and local officials, as well as th4e presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.
"Law & Order in Philadelphia, NOW! They are looting stores. Call in our great National Guard like they FINALLY did (thank you President Trump) last night in Minneapolis. Is this what voters want with Sleepy Joe? All Dems!" Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.
Minutes later, he tweeted a similar comment.
"Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors," Trump tweeted. "These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!"
Trump's suggestion to call in the military came after 26 governors had already done so, according to CNN's Manu Raju.
Biden, meanwhile, spent his weekend speaking to the family of the man whose death sparked the protests, George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, even as Floyd said he couldn't breathe.
Biden also went to a protest in his home state of Delaware, where he is pictured talking to a protester.
"We are a nation in pain right now, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us," Biden tweeted, along with a photo of him kneeling to speak with a demonstrator. "As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen, just as I did today visiting the site of last night's protests in Wilmington."
It's unclear whether the protests will continue Monday, nor what Trump will do if they once again turn violent.
However, according to the Washington Post, advisers send Trump a warning this weekend not to speak because he "had nothing new to say and had no tangible policy or action to announce yet."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.