Donald Trump took the first 10 minutes of his address following the successful launch of Space X rocket to decry the violence sweeping the country over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
He also called the death of Floyd a “senseless tragedy.”
“The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy. It should never have happened. It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief,” Trump said at the outset of remarks at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., after viewing the historic SpaceX launch.
“I understand the pain that people are feeling. We support the right of peaceful protesters and we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace,” Trump continued. “The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters, and anarchists.”
Trump also put in a good word for the police, maligned as never before during the riots.
Trump, who has spoken to Floyd’s family, on Saturday offered support for the “overwhelming majority of police officers” who are devoted to serving the public.
“No one is more upset than fellow law enforcement officers by the small handful who fail to abide by their oath to serve and protect,” Trump said.
“In America justice is never achieved at the hand of an angry mob. I will not allow angry mobs to dominate,” Trump said, declaring it “essential” that the “rule of law” and independent justice system be protected.
Trump’s statement, which was more measured than the tweets he has sent about the protests in recent days, represented his first extended remarks on Floyd’s death and the protests that it has sparked across the country.
Trump said what needed to be said, but it’s never enough. Where are the tears? The weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth? Where are the sackcloth and ashes? Trump doesn’t do nauseating public displays of contrition or empathy. He leaves that to Biden.
I know that there are people all across this country who are suffering tonight. Suffering the loss of a loved one to intolerable circumstances, like the Floyd family, or to the virus that is still gripping our nation. Suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system. And I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear.
We don’t need a president who can feel our pain. We need a president who stands for law and order. The simpering, sell-effacing statement by Biden is just another reason why America can’t afford to have that jackass as president.