The president started a coronavirus roundtable by talking about Floyd’s death, sharing that he had spoken to members of Floyd’s family and demanded “law and order” during protests.
“We cannot allow a situation like that which happened in Minneapolis to sink further into lawless anarchy and chaos. And we understand that very well, ”Trump said. “It is very important, I think, for the family, for everyone, that the memory of George Floyd is a perfect memory. Let it be a perfect memory. ”
“I understand the damage, I understand the pain,” Trump added. “The George family has the right to justice and the people of Minnesota have the right to live in safety. Law and order will apply. The Americans will honor the memory of the George and Floyd family. ”
Earlier in the day, Twitter took the very unusual step of flagging posts from Trump and the White House about the upheaval in Minneapolis. To condemn protesters like “THUGS”, Trump threatened military intervention and said, “All difficulties and we will take control but when the looting starts, the shooting begins.” Twitter said the post violated its rules against glorifying violence.
Trump insisted that the tweet was not intended to stimulate violence and that he did not know it came from a Miami police chief in 1967, who threatened “war” against criminals.
“Honestly, it means that when there is looting, people get shot and they die. And if you look at what happened last night and the night before, you see that it is very common. And that’s the way it was intended and that’s how I think it was intended, “Trump said. “But I don’t know where it came from. I do not know where it originated. I wouldn’t know anything like that. ”
Trump cast doubt on whether his opposition to peaceful protests kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events had changed. He also declined to say what, if anything, he would do to police brutality.
Trump said he expressed his “grief” when speaking to the Floyd family.
“It was a horrible thing to witness. And I’ve seen bad things. I have seen many bad things. And it was just a horrible thing to witness and look at. And it would really look like there was no excuse for it, “the president said.
Trump was asked if there were “good people” among the protesters in Minneapolis, a nod to his comment about white supremacists marching in Charlottesville 2017.
“There were really many different people,” Trump said, “and there were also good people.”