President Donald Trump toured violence-ridden Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday, calling the rioters "domestic terrorists" while praising the police, who he argued should not be demonized for "suffocation".
Trump did not mention Jacob Blake by name in his written observations.
Blake, a black man, was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer in front of his three young children on Sunday afternoon a week ago, the father of six being paralyzed from the waist down. The incident sparked protests and then violence in the city of Wisconsin for several nights.
Trump arrived Tuesday afternoon and walked through the rubble that had once been a photography store and office furniture store before joining a roundtable on & # 39; Wisconsin Community Safety & # 39; Made remarks.
"These are not peaceful protests, they are domestic terror," said Trump, who sat next to Attorney General Bill Barr, incumbent Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, and local officials including Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.
Beth was examined for statements he had made about black people in the past after Blake was shot by police.
"The vast and overwhelming majority of police officers are honorable, courageous and dedicated officers," said Trump. "They are incredible, but a lot of politicians ignore their victims and ignore the African-American, Hispanic-American victims," the president continued, speaking of criminal victims of the color, not those who were unarmed and shot by officers who inspired weeks of the protests against Black Lives Matter.
When asked if Blake should be shot, Trump replied, "I feel terrible to anyone who goes through this." He added that it was "a complicated subject".
Trump vouched for cops, saying, "They have people who are choking."
"And if they make the wrong decision one way or another, they're either dead or they're in big trouble," Trump continued. “And people have to understand that. You choke sometimes. And it's a very difficult situation. & # 39;
President Donald Trump held a round table with law enforcement and business owners Tuesday during his visit to Keosha, Wisconsin
President Donald Trump (center) sits at the head of the table with Attorney General Bill Barr (center right) during a discussion with law enforcement and Kenosha business owners in Wisconsin on Tuesday
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he investigates riot damage Tuesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin
President Donald Trump toured part of the damage in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Tuesday after state and city leaders asked him to stay away
President Donald Trump walks through burned buildings on Tuesday during his trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin
President Donald Trump (right), accompanied by Attorney General Bill Barr (left), speaks to officials at Mary D. Bradford High School, which has been converted into an emergency response center
President Trump is investigating the damage in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Tuesday following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday
President Donald Trump's motorcade drives through rubble in Kenosha, Wisconsin
National Guard soldiers are stationed outside Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a facility that has been converted into an emergency response center where President Donald Trump will be invited to a roundtable discussion with law enforcement
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he lands in Waukegan, Illinois en route to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to examine the rubble of buildings and meet with law enforcement officials
People line up, including some with American flags and Trump signs, to see the president's motorcade when it arrives in Kenosha, Wisconsin
The President suggested that the police involved in the shootings and murders of unarmed blacks were some "bad apples".
Trump poof-poofed a reporter's question if he believed systemic racism existed, which was the main topic of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"You keep coming back to the other topic," Trump said. "We should talk about the kind of violence we've seen in Portland and here and in other places. It's tremendous violence."
"That's what this is about," said Trump.
He laughed at the idea that most of the protests against Black Lives Matter were peaceful, and pointed out the debris he had just observed.
"I keep hearing about peaceful protests … and then I come to an area like this and the city burned down," said Trump, berating reporters in the room for reporting on the protests. "By and large, this is not a peaceful protest," he later added.
State and local officials had asked Trump not to come to Kenosha if his appearance sparked more confrontation – but Wisconsin is a major swing state in the November presidential election.
Since George Floyd's death on Memorial Day, Trump has made it clear he stands with law enforcement, and his Tuesday trip to Kenosha has reinforced that.
"We must also face the radical ideology that includes this violence. Ruthless far-left politicians continue to carry the destructive message that our nation and our law enforcement agencies are oppressive or racist," Trump said at one point during the trip.
Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter activists lined the street as it traveled between Illinois Air Force One Airport and the city of Wisconsin.
A large group of protesters had also marked out an area near the property Trump was touring and greeted the president with middle fingers.
"There was love in the streets, I can tell you," Trump said later. "When we got in, it was love on the streets."
Trump was shouted down by Black Lives protesters.
"Justice for Jacob Blake, not a fascist police state!" They said. "Trump pence out now!"
John S., 22 years old, puts a 9-millimeter pistol in his waistband and cheers for "another four years" when Trump passed him. He also came out to defend 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was accused of fatally shooting two protesters and injuring a third.
"He had no choice but to defend himself," John told DailyMail.com.
56-year-old Dan Cox, who drove to Trump from Illinois, called Rittenhouse a hero.
"The governor and mayor did not protect the citizens and it was left to a 17-year-old to come out and defend this community," he said, standing in front of a used car dealer littered with dozens of cars that were set on fire from riot last Week. "In my opinion, he's the hero of Kenosha."
Kendra, 18, waved a BLM sign that read, "Injustice Everywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere". The president is not interested in healing the community.
"Trump is here for the wrong reasons," she said. "He's not here because he cares. He's here to kindle the flames of hatred and gather his base."
Trump specifically avoided visiting the neighborhood a few miles away where Blake was shot and killed by a police officer.
Blake's family and activists hosted a "Justice for Jacob" rally on site during Trump's visit, in which a noticeably frail Rev. Jesse Jackson participated, including a cleanup and voter registration booth.
"We don't need more pain and division from a president who wants to push his campaign at the expense of our city," said Blake's uncle Justin Blake. "We need justice and relief for our church."
Blake's father said before the president's arrival that he would not meet with Trump because "I don't want to do politics".
Jacob Blake Sr. spoke out after the President refused to meet with the Blake family when lawyers were involved, which Trump described as "inappropriate".
When asked about Trump's answer, Blake Sr. said, “I don't get into politics. It's all about my son, man. It has nothing to do with photo op. & # 39;
Jacob Blake Sr, the father of Jacob Blake, who was shot dead in Kinosha a week ago, has insisted that after a failed meeting with Donald Trump, he no longer wants to do politics
Jacob Blake Jr. was shot seven times in the back by police on August 23 when he tried to get into a car with three of his six children in Kenosha
Kenosha stays below 7pm. Curfew with more than 1,500 members of the National Guard on site.
But Blake's shots and the demonstrations led to it Self-appointed militiamen who take to the streets with their own guns because they don't trust the police to protect the city.
Among those guards Tuesday night was Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, a white teenager who had come out of his Antioch, Illinois home to patrol the streets in an AR-15. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to openly carry a gun in Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse was part of a group of armed civilians protecting a gas station in Kenosha.
There was an argument between them and the demonstrators. Shots were fired and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum fell to the ground with a gunshot wound to the head that would be fatal.
The video posted on social media shows a man who the police believe is Rittenhouse calling on a cell phone and saying, "I just shot someone."
He escapes and is followed by many demonstrators, at least one of whom is armed with a pistol. Rittenhouse falls to the ground and the crowd comes in to grab his gun.
He was hit over the head by Anthony Huber, a 26-year-old protester who had a skateboard and wanted to disarm him.
Rittenhouse then starts shooting into the group and eventually killed Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz.
He wasn't arrested until the next day in Illinois, despite walking toward police with his hands up while other protesters yelled that he had just shot several people.
He is in custody in Illinois. A judge at a hearing on September 25th will decide whether Rittenhouse will be extradited to Wisconsin, where he will face trial as an adult. He has faced six criminal offenses, including premeditated first degree murder and reckless first degree murder, as well as an offense charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.
Rittenhouse attorney Lin Wood said the 17-year-old vigilante was "attacked" with "lethal force" and had "the right to defend himself".
Another of his lawyers, John Pierce, praised the teen during an appearance on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, saying he was only defending himself against a mob trying to disarm and injure him.
"This is 100 percent self-defense," Pierce said.
The only people Kyle shot were the three people who attacked him and put him in danger. This is a 17 year old boy, this is amazing what he did. & # 39;
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was patrolling the streets in an AR-15. He fell over, was hit with a skateboard by other demonstrators trying to disarm him and opened fire, wounding one person and killing two. He is now being held for murder
Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back in front of his three children, despite being unarmed
Kenosha Sheriff, who met with Trump, called for black shoplifters to be "stored" for life
President Trump toured parts of Kenosha with Sheriff David Beth – who has debated controversially over his 2018 comments that a group of black shoplifters should be stored for life.
Kenosha Sheriff David Beth
Beth, who invited Trump to a roundtable in honor of law enforcement, apologized after making a stunning comment following the arrest of three men and two women, all black, for shoplifting outside a Tommy Helfiger store. They stole about $ 5,000 worth of goods before bumping into a teenage driver.
"I've gotten to the point where I think society has to reach a threshold where there are some people who are not worth saving," he said at a press conference where he spoke at length.
"We have to build warehouses, get these people in and lock them up for the rest of their lives," he said. He said the camps are a place where we put these people who are no longer seen as beneficial.
He said one day the bearings would no longer be needed and Amazon could buy them.
"We put them away for the rest of their lives so we could all be better," Beth continued, reported KIRO.
"I have no problem with these five people disappearing completely," said Beth. "At this point, these people are no longer profitable to our community and just have to go," he continued.
He was forced to go back on the comments days later, saying, "Although my comments were not intended to offend people, I can see how they might have it." He said he was thinking of his own daughter who recently got her driver's license.
The ACLU called for Blake's resignation after the Blake shooting, citing both the 2018 comments and his MPs' statement that "not only fraternized with white supremacist counter-protesters on Tuesday, but allowed the shooter to leave when people shouted he was." the shooter."
Comedian John Oliver from HBO's & # 39; Last Week Tonight & # 39; met Sheriff Beth in an extended routine.
Rittenhouse, who lives in a nearby Illinois town, had traveled to Kenosha to protect companies from torches or looting during the Blake protests, his attorney said.
In addition to his AR-15 rifle, the Rittenhouse attorney said the teen also carried a first aid kit to treat injured protesters.
Pierce said the incident escalated when a shot was fired when Rittenhouse tried to pull away from a group of protesters who, he claims, became angry that the teen was trying to put out fires.
They started screaming that Kyle had to be killed and they were going to kill him. They relentlessly began to hunt him down for prey when he ran down the street trying to pull back, ”Pierce said.
Rosenbaum, who led the attack on him, attacked him immediately … started attacking him from behind, tried to take his gun, to take his firearm, and Kyle, when he turned around, immediately had no choice but to defend shooting yourself because he was in imminent danger of serious injury or death. & # 39;
Pierce denied that Rittenhouse had brought the AR-15 across state lines from Illinois to Wisconsin.
& # 39; This weapon never crossed state lines. It's a legal firearm in Wisconsin, ”Pierce said, adding that they would argue that this is within his second right of amendment.
On Monday, Trump defended Rittenhouse's actions, saying he would have "likely been killed by an angry mob" had he not shot them with the illegal weapon he carried.
"He tried to get away from them, it looks like, and he fell on it when they very violently attacked him," Trump replied Monday to a question from DailyMail.com.
“It was something we're looking at and is being investigated, but I think he had big problems. He would probably have been killed. It is being investigated, ”he added during his press conference.
The president also refused to condemn vigilantes when he pressed the self-proclaimed militia from DailyMail.com.
"I think the law enforcement agencies should take care of everything, but we need to give our police officers and police their dignity back," he said.
He defended the police's actions, saying that sometimes they make a mistake – "they suffocate" – and that decision is played over and over again on the evening news.
“You have bad cops – we have to take care of them. In other cases they choke, ”he said. “They have a quarter of a second to make a decision and sometimes they make the wrong decision. They make the wrong decision, you know, if they make the wrong decision and the other way, they are probably dead so they choke and that goes on on the evening news for weeks. & # 39;
“You're very tough on bad cops, but sometimes a cop or a cop who was a good cop, right? Well. But they choke, ”he added. “You have a quarter of a second to make some of these decisions and you are making the wrong decision which is very devastating, but I'll say this, I honor law enforcement. We wouldn't be here now if there were no law enforcement agencies. & # 39;
Meanwhile, outrage has grown nationwide at the different treatment by police officers from Rittenhouse, the white armed teenager, compared to their treatment of black unarmed Blake.
Trump said he would go to Kenosha on Tuesday despite Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers asking him to stay away. Evers warned that it could escalate tensions and increase violence in the city of 100,000 as supporters of the Black Lives Matters movement and armed civil vigilante rose.
"It will also increase enthusiasm and love and respect for our country. That's why I'm leaving because you did a fantastic job," Trump said at his press conference on Monday.
Evers, a Democrat, said in a letter to President Trump on Sunday that he was not welcome to Kenosha.
Urging him to reconsider his journey, he wrote, "I, along with other community leaders who have tried, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state."
The also Democratic Mayor of Kenosha, John Antaramian, asked Trump not to come.
"While presidents are always welcome to come to this great city, this is not the best time to visit," Antaramian said in a statement on Sunday. “We hurt today and we focus on healing, coming together as a community, and rebuilding. We have to listen a lot in Kenosha and I am concerned that a visit from the President will delay this important work. & # 39;
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers sent a letter to Trump on Sunday claiming the president was not welcome to Kenosha after the White House announced plans to visit the city on Saturday. "I am concerned, along with other community leaders who have tried, what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state," he wrote in the letter
"We have to listen a lot in Kenosha and I am concerned that a visit from the president will delay this important work," Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said in a statement on Sunday
Trump has now insisted that his actions "saved" the city of Kenosha.
“If I didn't insist that the National Guard be activated and go to Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now. There would also have been major deaths and injuries. I want to thank law enforcement and the National Guard. See you on Tuesday! He tweeted on Monday morning.
But he won't meet with Jacob Blake's family and say he refused to speak to them after they wanted their attorney to be involved. The Blakes are represented by attorney Ben Crump, who also represented George Floyd's family.
Trump said he spoke to the Blake family pastor.
"I thought it would be better not to do anything when lawyers are involved," he said at his press conference on Monday. "They wanted to involve lawyers and I found that inappropriate, so I didn't, but I did speak to the pastor."
Jacob Blake's uncle, Justin Blake, told CNN that the family did not want to see the president because he is a "racist".
President Trump is a racist who fuels racial tension. He has been creating racial tension since he was in the White House. Why should I, as Jacob's uncle, want to speak to him? Our focus is on Jacob and healing the community, ”he said.
He said Jacob Blake's father told him he was not interested in speaking to President Trump. His only concern right now is the welfare and justice of his son.
He said he did not speak to Jacob Blake's mother about the matter.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he hoped to visit Wisconsin soon.
"I'll check it out now. We hope we can do that, ”he said during a layover in Pittsburgh on Monday.
In his speech that day, Biden followed up on Trump who called him a "toxic presence" and accused him of "inciting violence in our cities" and asked voters, "Do you really feel safer under Trump?" Biden also condemned rioting and looting, and urged Americans "to take action against violence – in whatever form it takes".
Wisconsin is a key battlefield state in the November elections. Trump won it in 2016 with less than 1 point and both candidates want to see it in their column this fall.
Biden currently tops the state poll with 3.5 points on the RealClearPolitics poll average.
The Democrats were originally supposed to hold their national political rally in Wisconsin this summer – with Biden delivering his acceptance speech for the president's nomination there – but they made the rally a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) US Election 2020 (t) Democrats (t) Jacob Blake (t) Black Lives Matter (t) Donald Trump (t) US Race Relations (t) Republicans