President Donald Trump’s description of the massive social unrest that has torn apart a host of U.S. cities this summer as “riots” driven by the radical left rather than “mostly peaceful” local protests was challenged Monday by CNN’s Chris Cillizza.
The disbelieving CNN editor-at-large took to Twitter to primly tut-tut his disapproval, illustrating it with a picture of Kenosha, Wisconsin, in flames that ironically supported rather than detracted from Trump’s summation:
Trump's efforts to label what is happening in major cities as "riots" speaks at least somewhat to his desperation, politically speaking, at the momenthttps://t.co/tQJ495xOZK pic.twitter.com/vs19vtCHiW
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) August 30, 2020
He then outlined his case on the broadcaster’s own site, arguing “To hear Trump and his allies tell it, the situations unfolding in Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, in response to several high-profile shootings by the police of Black men is rioting, plain and simple.”
Cillizza sought to discount the president’s summation by saying it was a case of “desperation” driven by a belief “the race is slipping from him,” and the president has therefore “latched on to the events following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha earlier this month as a sign not of peaceful protests but of radical leftists rioting and destroying cities.”
He closed his argument by contending there was little if anything to see, because:
… making sure people view what is happening in the country as “riots” rather than “protests” is a key part of Trump’s comeback strategy.
Cillizza entered the fray within hours of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declaring Trump was actually to blame for all the violence that, he said, led to the shooting death of a right-wing demonstrator on Saturday evening.
Wheeler added Trump has been “perpetrating violent and hateful language for years” and alleged the president had “encouraged” his supporters “to come into our community” with mayhem being the logical extension of their presence.Portland Police / YouTube