Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Ed Markey blamed President Donald Trump on Monday for ongoing violence in America and described the president as “scum.”
The comment from the senator, who is seeking reelection this year in the state’s Democrat primary, was made after rioters ravaged through cities across America over the course of four days, including in his state’s capital of Boston, amid nationwide protesting of the death of George Floyd.
Markey wrote, “Donald Trump is scum for fueling racist hate and violence in our country”:
Donald trump is scum for fueling racist hate and violence in our country.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) June 1, 2020
Markey continued by telling his followers that if they were “angry” like he was, to donate to various racial justice groups, including the Boston branches of Black Lives Matter and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The protests in Boston on Sunday had lasted several hours before deteriorating into destructive rioting and looting, causing nine officers to be hospitalized as well as 18 bystanders, and causing 21 police cruisers to be damaged or destroyed, according to Mayor Marty Walsh (D). Fifty-three arrests were made as a result of the riots.
Markey’s Senate primary challenger, Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), also criticized Trump after the violent evening, saying Trump “enables and empowers racist hate every day he holds office.” He went beyond Markey’s comments, however, to clarify that “one man is not the root of these protests”:
Donald Trump enables and empowers racist hate every day he holds office.
But let’s be clear: One man is not the root of these protests. The root of these protests is a country that has let racism flourish for generations — a country complicit in the taking of Black lives.
— Joe Kennedy III (@joekennedy) June 1, 2020
The rebukes from the two congressmen come as Trump told governors Monday on a conference call that most of them are “weak” and that state leaders need to dominate the streets with law enforcement rather than merely react to reports of crimes. He described the ongoing rioting as a “movement” that will get “worse and worse” if it is not curtailed, comparing it to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations of the Obama era.
Markey was also quick to scold Trump when the rioting first began, commenting on May 29 that he condemned the president and stood with “activists demanding an end to the systemic racism that has abused, incarcerated, and killed thousands of Black and Brown people.”
Markey is in an unusual position as an incumbent in the Senate race as he is trailing Kennedy in both polls and fundraising; the two will face off in their second debate before the September 1 primary Monday evening.