WASHINGTON – President Trump retweeted a video Monday of a white man and woman brandishing a semi-automatic rifle and pistol at peaceful black protesters in St. Louis over the weekend, amplifying a surreal scene that embodied the divisions. Racials that rocked the country.
Mr. Trump’s promotion of the St. Louis confrontation was the second time in two days that the President used his social media platforms, which he often attributes to having allowed him to bypass major media outlets, to exacerbate divisions. racial as Americans have been protesting police brutality. and demanding social justice reforms in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
On Sunday, Trump retweeted a video of one of his supporters in a Florida retirement community yelling “White power!” during what appeared to be an angry clash over the president and the race between white residents in the community. He deleted the tweet about three hours after posting it, and a White House spokesman said Trump had not heard the man make the “white power” statement. Still, no one in the White House, including the president himself, condemned the sentiment.
In the video of Sunday’s protest in St. Louis, a barefoot white man dressed in a pastel pink polo shirt and khaki pants emerges from his marble mansion and appears to threaten protesters marching down a private residential street. A woman, also barefoot, stands next to him in a pair of black capri pants, her finger on the trigger of a silver pistol pointing at protesters.
Protesters were participating in a peaceful march to the home of Lyda Krewson, the Democratic mayor of St. Louis, to demand her resignation after she released the names and identifying details of people supporting the police.
The group can be heard hitting the drums and yelling at each other, “Keep moving!” As they pass by the couple threatening them with firearms. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the white couple in the video was identified as Mark T. McCloskey and Patricia N. McCloskey, both personal injury attorneys.
The confrontation, which looked like something out of a Quentin Tarantino movie, was captured on video and quickly attracted more than 10 million online views.
Trump retweeted an ABC news link to a video and article about the scene. The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the president’s decision to promote the clip. But in the past, Trump has positioned himself as a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights. It has also failed to distinguish between peaceful protesters, whose right of assembly is protected by the Constitution, and violent looters, some of whom were responsible for vandalism and fires that erupted during largely peaceful protests across the country expressing outrage at the murder. Mr. Floyd in police custody.
On Monday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “Seattle looters, agitators, anarchists and ‘Protestants’ are now refusing to leave the ‘CHOP’ area. They have ZERO respect for the government, or the mayor of Seattle or the governor of the state of Washington! Not well!”
In an interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s decision to retweet the video of his followers in Florida, even though it was withdrawn after Republican lawmakers’ criticism of the racist phrase “white power.”
“His point of tweeting that video was to support his followers, who are often demonized,” said McEnany. “Then you didn’t hear that part. He lowered it. But it does support the men and women of the towns, ”the Florida retirement community where the confrontation apparently took place.