Sunday on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” former Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice said President Donald Trump gave a “Bull Connor-type speech” Monday before going to St. John’s Church, which was damaged in a fire set during protests on Sunday night.
O’Donnell said, “Joe Biden was reacting to what he saw the president do with that Bible in front of that church yesterday, which was then condemned by the pastor of that church and other religious leaders in Washington. What was your reaction seeing the secretary of defense out there with the president and tonight the secretary of defense is trying to say, ‘I didn’t know we were going to a church. I thought we were just going out to talk to the troops who were out there.’ What was your reaction to that photo-op and the administration officials who accompanied the president on that photo-op?”
Rice said, “Let me begin by making the obvious point, what we saw today from Joe Biden in Philadelphia is what a president is supposed to do, what a president is supposed to say. He’s supposed to infuse his remarks with empathy, with compassion, with an understanding of the very real historic pan that so many African-Americans, including myself, feel in this country. Contrast that with Donald Trump, where everything is a political stunt designed to divide. For the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs, in combat fatigues, to stand up with the president, after he’s given sort of Bull Connor-type speech, and then brandishes a Bible before an Episcopal church, my faith, without the permission of the pastor of that church, it’s about trying to divide us and inflame us for his political benefit. When you say it’s an empty threat, I hope it proves to be an empty threat, that he won’t deploy the military in the states of this union. But here in the District of Columbia, where I live, this is my hometown. We are living that nightmare last night and today, with thousands of federalized, armed forces on our streets. Blackhawk helicopters buzzing peaceful protesters at very low altitudes. It’s very scary here. So we’re living that real-time.”
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