Biden: Trump 'calling for violence against American citizens'by Julia Manchester
Former Vice President Joe Biden accused President Trump of calling for violence against Americans on Friday after he threatened to deploy the military and denounced "thugs" in Minneapolis amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd, with the president tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
"I will not lift the President’s tweet. I will not give him that amplification. But he is calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many. I’m furious, and you should be too," Biden tweeted on Friday.
Protests rocked Minneapolis for the third night in a row on Thursday over the death of Floyd, an African American man who died earlier this week after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest. Floyd could be heard in the video recording of the incident saying "I can't breathe." The officers involved have lost their jobs with the police department, but a growing number of political leaders and outside groups are calling for charges to be filed. Demonstrators burned a police precinct to the ground on Thursday as thousands marched through Minneapolis calling for the officers involved in Floyd's death to be charged with murder. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) activated the Minnesota National Guard earlier on Thursday in response to the violent protests. The president decried the unrest in a tweet Friday morning. “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right,” Trump said. “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Trump said in a second tweet
Twitter placed labels on Trump's second tweet, saying the post violated the platform's rules about glorifying violence. “This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today,” Twitter said on the label. The White House's official Twitter account responded, tweeting directly at the platform's CEO, Jack Dorsey.
"The President did not glorify violence. He clearly condemned it," the White House said.
Defenders of the president argue the tweet was meant as a warning that looting could lead to more gun violence.