President Donald Trump on Monday met with Minneapolis business owners affected by the destructive riots in the name of George Floyd.
The president criticized former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate Sen. Kamala Harris for asking for donations to help bail out the rioters who had been arrested for violence and looting.
“Their sympathies lie with lawbreakers and with criminals, my heart is with law-abiding, hard-working Americans like these people,” Trump said. “And my heart is also with the great men and women of law enforcement.”
The president tore into local Democrats for failing business owners by allowing riots and looting to continue in the city in the name of George Floyd.
“While the city’s liberal mayor refused to defend its citizens, which was incredible, their lives were destroyed while the leadership of the Democrats cheered, their dreams burned to the ground,” Trump said.
Minneapolis firefighter Korboi (KB) Balla and his wife told the story about how he spent his life’s savings to open a sports bar before it was destroyed by rioters.
Balla said he was working to rebuild the bar and was currently working to get financing to purchase a building for $1.3 million.
Trump suggested that it might be possible for Balla to get government assistance and asked for the name of the bar.
“The bikers over there, they’ll be there, like even if it’s burned down they will be there,” Trump said with a chuckle, referring to some of his “Bikers for Trump” supporters.
Balla laughed and said the name of the bar was Scores Sports Bar.
The president also welcomed Jim Stage, the owner of Lloyd’s Pharmacy, operating in the same building for more than 100 years before it was looted and burned to the ground during the riots.
Stage said he was working on rebuilding but was currently serving his customers in a satellite location.
“Thank you Mr. President for fighting for law and order in American cities and we ask that other politicians rise to the same challenge, of protecting our businesses and our neighborhoods,” he said.
Another owner of an auto repair shop said his business was completely looted and destroyed as well as vehicles owned by his customers and his tow truck.
“I’m here to build a new life and pursue the American dream,” he said. “I’m here today to say ‘no’ to this kind of action.”
He said he was confident about rebuilding his business and that he had cleared the rubble away.
“It might take time, but this is the only way myself and my two little ones live from,” he said. “I’m strong, I’m here to fight and to stand up again.”
John Wolf, the owner of Chicago Lake liquors in the city, also spoke about the riots that destroyed his business.
Wolf said he called 911 over ten times while watching looters damage his building without any response.
“The feeling of helplessness that I had knowing that no one was coming was indescribable,” he said.
Wolf said that during the three nights of looting, his business suffered six fires, three feet of standing water, and over a million dollars worth of stolen and damaged product.
“There’s nothing more important for elected officials than providing safety to residents and businesses, without that, nothing works,” he said.
He expressed frustration that no one was arrested for the looting, noting that local leaders in the city had failed them.
“While city leaders discuss reimagining the police department, Minneapolis still needs law enforcement,” he said.
He said that business owners should expect law enforcement to protect their businesses in exchange for the taxes paid to the city.
“I held up to my end. The city of Minneapolis didn’t,” he said.
Trump said that he had all of the local business owner’s names and would do whatever he could to help them rebuild.
“We’re going to see what we can do for you. We’ll help you out a little bit, and you may be surprised,” he said. “We’ll get you going.”