CLAIM:”[O]ne of Trump’s top advisors … expressed hope for more discord and violence in our cities.”
VERDICT: False. She was commenting on the widely-acknowledged fact that riots were hurting Democrats politically.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign attempted to blame President Donald Trump for nationwide riots in a statement Thursday night after the close of the Republican National Convention.
The statement claimed: “Before tonight’s convention, one of Trump’s top advisors even expressed hope for more discord and violence in our cities in a cynical ploy to use division as a political strategy.”
NEW from Biden camp's @KBeds: "In Donald Trump’s America, safety is pitted against justice, Americans are pitted against one another, and the violence that Trump warns of plays out on the streets of communities across our country — stoked by his own words and actions." pic.twitter.com/uNO2MUOHGC
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) August 28, 2020
The advisor in question was Kellyanne Conway, and the statement distorts her comment. (Biden himself cited Conway CNN earlier Thursday, reading her comment out of context during an interview with Anderson Cooper.)
Conway appeared on Fox and Friends and was asked to respond to the claim by former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg that the riots were happening “on Donald Trump’s watch.”
Conway replied that the riots were happening in cities and states run by Democrats, most of whom had refused help from Trump. She then quoted a “restaurateur” in Madison, Wisconsin, who evidently opposed Trump and who asked rioters whether they were trying to get Trump re-elected.
Windows of businesses and residential buildings being smashed on University Avenue — which were not preemptively boarded up. This Papa John’s employee asks protesters, “Do you want Trump to be elected?” pic.twitter.com/IbSubGfGs6
— Dylan Brogan (@telldylan) August 26, 2020
Conway then added: “He knows, full stop, and I guess Mayor Pete knows, full stop, that the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who is best on public safety and law and order.”
That is not a “hope” for violence. It is a simple observation that Democrats’ inability to stop the violence in the cities and states that they govern makes the case stronger for Trump’s re-election. Others have made similar observations.
CNN’s Don Lemon warned earlier this week that Biden had to oppose the riots vocally, because “it’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing – it is the only thing right now that is sticking.”
Likewise, the New York Times reported Wednesday that “Chaos in Kenosha Is Already Swaying Some Voters in Wisconsin.”
Conway noted that Trump had offered help to stop the violence with federal law enforcement, and had often been refused by Democrats putting their “pride and their politics ahead of public safety.”
Biden’s claim is completely false.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.