Anderson Cooper blasted Donald Trump’s vow to “dominate the streets” amid protests to the death of George Floyd, shortly after police used tear gas and rubber bullets On Monday evening to clear demonstrators from Lafayette Square Park.
In a short statement at the White House, Trump threatened to send in the military to states if governors and mayors could not curb unrest.
But Cooper, on Anderson Cooper 360, said Trump “claimed a power he doesn’t really have. He can’t send the military into every state — that’s now law and order. What the president doesn’t seem to know or care is that the vast majority of those protesting, they too are calling for law and order. A black man killed with four officers holding him down, a knee to the neck, for more than eight minutes, more than three minutes which he was no longer conscious for. that is not law and order. That’s murder.”
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He went on to said that Trump “seems to think that dominating black people, dominating peaceful protesters is law and order. It’s not. He calls them thugs. Who is the thug here? Hiding in a bunker. Hiding behind a suit. Who is the thug? People have waited for days for this wannabe wartime president to say something. And this is what he says. And that is what he does.”
Cooper then went on to his own experience, saying that he has “seen societies fall apart as a reporter.”
“I’ve seen people dying in the streets while protesting. I’ve seen countries ripped apart by hate and mystery misinformation and laws and political demagogues and racism,” Cooper said. “We can’t let that happen here. Of course violence is no answer, but people protesting deserve answers, and they haven’t gotten them. no matter how many black men have been murdered, lynched, in prison, mistreated, redlined, blackballed from jobs. We all know it. People protesting in the streets they know it, and they’re tired of it. And we should be too.”
Later, Cooper mocked Trump for giving a statement about restoring law and order and then, after police cleared the streets near Lafayette Park, staging a photo op at nearby St. John’s Church, where the president briefly help up a Bible.
“He has to sick police on peaceful protesters so he can make a big show of being the little big man walking to a closed down church,” said Anderson Cooper.
“This event, as I said, if it wasn’t so dangerous and disgusting, it would be funny, because it is so low rent and just sad,” Cooper added.