Donald Trump Defends and Explains ‘Looting’ and ‘Shooting’ Statement

A man breaks a window at a tire store Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard on Thursday as looting broke out in St. Paul and a wounded Minneapolis braced for more violence after rioting over the death of George …
AP Photo/John Minchillo

President Donald Trump defended the statement he made Friday morning in response to the riots in Minneapolis, having asserted on Twitter, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot,” Trump wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon. “I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means.”

Trump responded to criticism after Twitter censored his tweet due to its “glorifying violence” policy. Twitter and the president’s critics argued that Trump’s slogan was used in the 1960s to refer to policing the black community in Miami and that it would only incite additional violence.

“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump wrote, promising to deploy the National Guard.

Former Vice President Joe Biden also condemned Trump for “calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many.”

But Trump disputed the interpretation.

“It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement,” he said. “It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media.”

The president has repeatedly urged Americans not to use the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers as an excuse to riot, loot, and destroy property.

“Honor the memory of George Floyd!” he wrote:

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