Trump Likes Tweet Praising Gunman, Hails Violent Supporters As “Great Patriots”
President Trump made his position on clashes between protesters and his supporters abundantly clear this weekend, deriding demonstrators as “anarchists” and praising his supporters as “GREAT PATRIOTS” in his tweets.
Trump also showed support for a conspiracy theory that demonstrators have organized in an attempt to "overthrow" him and liked a tweet praising the alleged Kenosha, Wisconsin, gunman, who is accused of killing two people and injuring a third last week after traveling to the city to join a group of militias gathered there.
- NBC News reported that “President Donald Trump on Sunday praised a pro-Trump caravan of activists whose presence appeared to contribute to violent clashes Saturday in Portland, Oregon.”
- The president attacked only the protesters “the day after a man was shot and killed in confrontations between Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump supporters in Portland,” the outlet reported.
In a tweet, Trump shared a video of the pro-Trump caravan driving into Portland and labeled its members "GREAT PATRIOTS!" In another tweet, he referred to protesters in Washington, D.C., as "Disgraceful Anarchists" and said, "We are watching them closely."
"The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching and incompetent Mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing," Trump said in one tweet. "The people of Portland won't put up with no safety any longer. The Mayor is a FOOL. Bring in the National Guard!"
- Trump also “unleashed an especially intense barrage of Twitter messages overnight and Sunday morning, embracing fringe conspiracy theories claiming that the coronavirus death toll has been exaggerated and that street protests are actually an organized coup d’état against him,” The New York Times reported on Sunday.
In a concentrated predawn burst, the president posted or reposted 89 messages between 5:49 a.m. and 8:04 a.m. on Sunday on top of 18 the night before, many of them inflammatory comments or assertions about violent clashes in Portland, Ore., where a man wearing the hat of a far-right, pro-Trump group was shot and killed Saturday after a large group of Mr. Trump’s supporters traveled through the streets. He resumed on Sunday night.
- The Times pointed specifically to a retweet that it described as “one of the most incendiary,” posted by the far-right One American News Network. OANN, “a pro-Trump channel that advances extreme theories and that the president has turned to when he feels that Fox News has not been supportive enough,” promoted a segment in the tweet that accused demonstrators of plotting Trump’s downfall, The Times noted.
“According to the mainstream media, the riots & extreme violence are completely unorganized,” the tweet said. “However, it appears this coup attempt is led by a well funded network of anarchists trying to take down the President.” Accompanying it was an image of a promo for a segment titled “America Under Siege: The Attempt to Overthrow President Trump.”