President Donald Trump on Thursday responded to a Black Lives Matter leader threatening to “burn down this system” unless the United States “give[s] us what we want,” accusing him of “treason, sedition,” and “insurrection.”
In a Wednesday interview with Fox News Channel, Greater New York Black Lives Matter president Hawk Newsome warned that if the country “doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.”
“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down the system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally,” Newsome told The Story host Martha MacCallum.” It’s a matter of interpretation. Let’s be very real and let’s observe the history of the 1960s. When black people were rioting, we have their highest growth in wealth, in property ownership. Think about the last few weeks. Since you started protesting there have been eight cops fired across the country.”
President Trump weighed in on Newsome’s threat, tweeting: “Black Lives Matter leader states, ‘If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it’. This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!”
Black Lives Matter leader states, “If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it”. This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
Newsome’s warning comes as Black Lives Matter activists have taken to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. The protests have been marked with violent unrest, including the targeting of law enforcement, arson, rioting, and looting. In recent weeks, Black Lives Matter protesters have also targeted federal monuments such as Confederate leaders and even presidents like George Washington and Andrew Jackson.
On Monday, D.C. police prevented protesters from toppling a statue of Jackson near the White House.
President Trump has warned that individuals who vandalize monuments could face up to ten years in prison.