White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows argued Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “most of Donald Trump’s America is peaceful” and that the violence that the Trump campaign has so frequently highlighted as part of its “law and order” message is in “Democrat cities.”
Why it matters: One of the main themes of last week’s Republican convention was that scenes of violent protests and crime are what America will look like under a Joe Biden administration. Biden shot back on Thursday, saying: “The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why.”
The big picture: President Trump has made a point of connecting violent protests and riots to Democratic cities. Tensions have run especially high as Democratic mayors and officials continue to resist the help of federal law enforcement to quell protests, which have erupted in response to police brutality and racial inequality.
- Many Democratic leaders have accused federal law enforcement agents of escalating violence against civilians and said that they are not welcome.
- Meadows’ comments came hours after a man was fatally shot in Portland Saturday night during clashes between supporters of President Trump and counter-protesters. He pointed out that just two days prior, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler had rejected Trump’s offer for federal assistance.
What he’s saying: “These are people that every single night conduct violent acts, and it is in Democrat cities. You want to talk about Donald Trump’s America. Most of Donald Trump’s America is peaceful,” Meadows said.
- Asked whether Trump is only in charge of the places where he has supporters, Meadows responded: “Well, he does govern and lead the entire country. … These are local law enforcement efforts that can be supported by a federal backstop, whether it be National Guard or the FBI.”
- “As we look in Portland, it’s not Donald Trump’s [district attorney] that’s saying to stand down. It’s not Donald Trump that is saying that we need to look the other way, it’s the mayor of Portland. So let’s at least have a true version of what’s happening in these cities.”
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