During a Thursday appearance on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley reacted to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis criticizing President Donald Trump for dividing Americans.
In a statement this week, Mattis questioned Trump’s leadership and compared him to a Nazi for how law enforcement cleared out protesters so he could visit St. John’s Church.
Gidley said Mattis’ criticism of Trump “quite frankly appalling,” adding it is “fundamental misunderstanding” of what is occurring as some protests for George Floyd have turned violent.
“It is egregious what’s going on,” Gidley stated. “And for Jim Mattis to have his head in the sand on that is quite frankly appalling. This president is trying to unite a country. He has. He’s talked about the death of George Floyd, how sobering and sad he was when he saw the video, how angry it made him. He stood up in the Rose Garden and said I stand with the protesters who have the right to peacefully assemble, but I’m not going to allow lawlessness in this country. I want justice done in these cases, whether it be Mr. [Ahmaud] Arbery in Georgia or Mr. [George] Floyd in Minnesota. He’s going to make sure that happens. In fact, he mobilized the DoJ and the FBI to expedite these cases to make sure that they were tried as civil rights cases as well. That’s important to him. He wants to make the American people know that he cares about each individual out there, and police brutality cannot be tolerated. But, at the same time, when someone like Jim Mattis makes the comment, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what’s occurring. These cities are burned into the ground. They literally set fire to a church just a few steps away from where I’m standing right now.”
“It’s obvious that the general doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in the American cities out there — or worse, turned a blind eye to it. The president is solely focused on uniting this country and actually bringing back safety and security in our American cities,” he later added.
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