Democrats on Sunday accused President Donald Trump of trying to inflame racial tensions to benefit his campaign as he praised supporters who clashed with protesters in Portland, Oregon, where one man died overnight, and announced he will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, amid anger over the shooting of another Black man by police.
Trump’s tweets came hours after a man identified as a supporter of a right-wing group was shot and killed in Portland when a large caravan of Trump’s supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed in the city’s streets.
Trump praised the caravan participants as GREAT PATRIOTS! and blamed the city’s Democratic mayor for the death.
Trump has throughout the summer cast American cities as under siege by violence and lawlessness, despite the fact that most of the protests demonstrating against racial injustice have been largely peaceful.
With about nine weeks until Election Day, some of his advisers see an aggressive law and order message as the best way for the president to turn voters against his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, and regain the support of suburban voters, particularly women, who have abandoned him.
But Democrats accuse Trump of rooting for unrest and trying to stoke further violence for political gain instead of ratcheting down tensions.
Biden in a statement said he unequivocally condemned violence on all side, while accusing Trump of recklessly encouraging” it.
He may think that war in our streets is good for his reelection chances, but that is not presidential leadership or even basic human compassion, Biden said.
Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? asked Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
It’s you who have created the hate and the division.