Donald Trump responded to accusations that he was inciting his supporters to show up for violent confrontations with demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed and unconvicted African American citizens through his social media posts during a brief conversation with reporters this afternoon on the White House lawn, as he prepared to leave for Florida for the first manned space launch by a private company, SpaceX.
Earlier today, the president garnered much derision for his tweet saying that “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” after a massive number of protestors surrounded the White House last night and were fended off by the Secret Service.
The professionally managed so-called “protesters” at the White House had little to do with the memory of George Floyd. They were just there to cause trouble. The @SecretService handled them easily. Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
During his conversation with reporters this afternoon, Trump improbably feigned innocence of accusations of rabble-rousing with his summons to his bands of armed and deplorable supporters.
Asked by one reporter — “Mr. President, are you — with your week today, are you concerned you might be stoking more racial violence?” — the president defied credibility with his answer.
“No, not at all,” the president replied. “MAGA is ‘Make America Great Again.’ I have no idea if they were going to be here but I was just asking — I have no idea.”
“MAGA is ‘Make America Great Again’” he repeated. “By the way, they love African-American people. They love black people. MAGA loves the black people. I heard that MAGA wanted to be there. A lot of MAGA was going there be there. I have no idea if that’s true or not but they love our country.”
Talk about straining credulity! “MAGA loves the black people?!?!”
Trump did make at least one statement that was both believable and in character for the narcissistic president when he spoke about Minneapolis and made the conversation entirely about himself.
“Minneapolis, I love that city! As you know, I’ve had very great success there. Almost won the state for the first time in many many decades. But almost won that state and it’s a great state, Minnesota,” Trump boasted of losing both the popular and electoral college votes in the state during the 2016 elections.
Things took a darker turn when the president started doling out advice to state and city officials on how to handle the protests that turned violent and destructive before the officer caught with his knee on George Floyd’s neck was finally arrested yesterday.
“They’ve got to get tougher. They’ve got to get tougher. They’ve gotta be strong,” Trump declared in full machismo mode, before co-opting the memory of the murdered victim of exactly the type of excessive force he was advocating.
“Honor the memory of George Floyd. Honor his memory. They have to get tougher. And by being tougher, they will be honoring his memory,” the president declared in total Orwellian double speak.
Commenting on the arson that destroyed a Minneapolis police station at the height of Thursday evening’s protests, Trump first took a dig at the Democratic mayor of that city, Jacob Frey, by saying that he was “probably a very good person, but he’s a radical left mayor.”
The president then went on to describe his reaction to the Minneapolis police abandonment of their station house and its subsequent torching.
“I’ve never seen anything so horrible and stupid in my life. I’ve never seen anything so bad,” Trump opined.
Apparently the White House is devoid of mirrors in any room Trump frequents.
Trump then offered to send federal troops to help quell the Minnesota rioting in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act which forbids the deployment of federal troops on U.S. soil to enforce domestic laws.
In massive contrast with the armed anti-lockdown protestors who stormed Michigan’s capital for whom the president sent a series of supportive tweets, Trump said that the protestors whom he described as Antifa and a lot of radical-left, bad people — as opposed to the very fine neo-Nazis who killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville — have “to be taught that you can’t do this.”
Trump then abruptly ended his informal press conference and walked off to his waiting helicopter on his way to another possibly weather-aborted attempt at the spacecraft launch in Florida.
You can watch the entirety of the president’s remarks on the White House lawn this afternoon in the video clip below.
Original reporting by Tom Boggioni at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.