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Trump backpedals after 'shooting' threat to Minneapolis rioters

TechnologyMay 29, 2020 08:36PM ET
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6/6 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask holds a sign near a burning vehicle at the parking lot of a Target store during protests in Minneapolis 2/6

By Steve Holland and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday tried to walk back a Twitter threat to respond with deadly force to three days of violent protests in Minneapolis over the police killing of an unarmed black man.

After his online comment that "looting leads to shooting" drew a warning from Twitter and widespread condemnation from Democrats, Trump said he understood why the killing had sparked nationwide protests about police violence against African Americans.

But he added that they should not be allowed to turn to "lawless anarchy."

"The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters," he said at the White House. "I understand the hurt, I understand the pain."

Trump said he had expressed his sorrow to the family of George Floyd, a black man seen on video gasping for breath while a white police officer knelt on his neck. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Trump, a Republican who is running for re-election in November, has a history of inflaming racial tensions. He blamed "both sides" for violence between white supremacists and left-wing counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and has called some immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border rapists.

His early Friday tweet suggested that security forces would open fire on looters to curtail unrest over Floyd's death.

Trump said in his tweet: "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!"

Twitter added a notice that the message violated its rules for "glorifying violence," shortly after it appended a warning to another of his tweets about mail-in ballots. It was the first time a U.S. tech company had challenged his posts.

Trump said he was not aware of the history of the phrase, which dates back to U.S. police crackdowns on civil rights in the 1960s.

Democrats accused Trump of making the situation worse.

"This is no time for incendiary tweets. It's no time to encourage violence," former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said in remarks streamed online. "This is a national crisis and we need real leadership right now. Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so that we can take measures to root out systemic racism."

Black lawmakers said Trump was encouraging violence against African Americans. "It is a disgrace when the leader of the country responds to a national crisis by insulting the people that are being attacked," said Democratic Representative Karen Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus.

Trump issued his tweet amid days of turmoil in Minneapolis, which was engulfed in a third night of arson, looting and vandalism as protesters vented their rage over Floyd's death.

The four police officers involved in Floyd's death were fired before Chauvin's arrest. Attorney General William Barr said on Friday the Department of Justice, including the FBI, would investigate.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (NYSE:GHM), a Republican, said his panel would hold a hearing to examine police use of force.

Trump's re-election campaign has identified Minnesota as a state he could win in 2020 after narrowly losing it in 2016.

TWITTER FEUD

Trump relies heavily on Twitter to bring his message directly to his 80 million followers on the site, but also has repeatedly accused it and other social media sites of censoring conservatives.

Twitter's decision to attach a warning to Trump's tweet escalates a feud between Trump and tech companies.

Trump also posted his comment on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which did not add any editorial comment. "I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post.

Trump threatened new regulations and called on Congress to revoke a law that protects online platforms from lawsuits over content.

Floyd's death was one of several recent killings of black people in the United States that have provoked outrage.

Protests took place in other U.S. cities, including Louisville, Kentucky, where police said seven people were shot. Protesters there vented rage over the police killing of Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot in her apartment in March.

Trump backpedals after 'shooting' threat to Minneapolis rioters
 

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Comments (59)
Nk bag holder
Nk bag holder May 31, 2020 8:09PM ET
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Then why support Hong Kong violent?
maga king
maga king May 31, 2020 8:09PM ET
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not Trump. the dems is best at it. blame the dems
Silverbug 19
Silverbug 19 May 31, 2020 7:03AM ET
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Trump 2020 Trump Jr 2024 Owens 2032 first American born black president
Silverbug 19
Silverbug 19 May 31, 2020 7:02AM ET
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Twitter will be done by next year who cares
Chris Mallory
Chris Mallory May 31, 2020 1:38AM ET
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It will be a reality if the pasty whites of Antifa come to suburbs from democrat cities. Suburs are armed to the teeth. They will shoot them before they walk in yard
Kwong To
Kwong To May 30, 2020 9:58PM ET
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Trumpty dumpty going to have a big fall.
William Smith
William Smith May 30, 2020 8:25PM ET
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ALL the cities with riots have Democrat mayors and Democrat controlled city councils. Why? Simple, their failed leftist policies lead to discontent and social failures along with corrupt police forces.
James Pattison
James Pattison May 30, 2020 6:11PM ET
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Fake news... thesebprotestors are bought and paid for and get bused into cities...
Kwong To
Kwong To May 30, 2020 6:11PM ET
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Like those in HK?
Jason Zou
Jason Zou May 30, 2020 11:57AM ET
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The world solemnly and firmly stand and align with Americans against US police inhuman brutalities and racism, especially with George Floyd.
Kwong To
Kwong To May 30, 2020 11:14AM ET
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What goes around in HK has finally come around in US!
SL Soon
SL Soon May 30, 2020 9:17AM ET
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The protest is getting serious. Now even scared want to come out from home.
Parvez Ansari
Parvez Ansari May 30, 2020 1:10AM ET
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US is corrupt nation no law  are for african american . So much divide in between white and black so differences in society.
Michael King
Michael King May 30, 2020 12:34AM ET
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Police brutality is a terrible threat to America.
Muhamed Jaffir
Muhamed Jaffir May 29, 2020 11:57PM ET
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Reuters is just pure garbage at this point.
Simon Liu
Simon Liu May 29, 2020 11:11PM ET
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Leave it to you to think, about, Hongkong.
rob finch
rob finch May 29, 2020 10:55PM ET
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the important thing here is. Democrats side with looters.
Black Marcus
Black Marcus May 29, 2020 10:55PM ET
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Yes you can try to comfort yourself but but tonight you wont sleep well republican.What goes around comes around!
Karan Kapadia
Karan Kapadia May 29, 2020 10:30PM ET
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it will only give TRUMP the much needed rebellion moment. he rallied his supporters by making them rebel against the system in 2016. now he got a new fodder. Twitter. his supporters will rebel against Twitter.
maga king
maga king May 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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we can't punish someone just because some people are angry. the cop was simply doing his job. it's a tragedy but we need to move on. don't let a bunch of animals ruin the rest of the world
rob finch
rob finch May 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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typical liberal. you dems never hold anyone accountable for their actions. not even murderers.
Sam Crowther
Sam Crowther May 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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rob finch lol uuuuuh what...
HouseofJenga Tiger
HouseofJenga May 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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rob finch stop misconstruing the facts. stop with the immature labels
Kwong To
Kwong To May 29, 2020 10:10PM ET
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US hypocrisy at its finest!
Paul blk
Paul blk May 29, 2020 9:43PM ET
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Well, dear Steve Holland and Richard Cowan - "He blamed "both sides" for violence between white supremacists and LEFT-WING COUNTER PROTESTERS in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and has called some immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border rapists." - he blamed both sides, he blamed white-supremacists and he blamed ANTIFA, a domestic ********organization, classified so by Obama and Comey's FBI. Your reporting is biased again. #WallOfShame
Paul blk
Paul blk May 29, 2020 9:43PM ET
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Antifa = domestic te ror ist organization, by saying there were SOME bad people on both sides.
maga king
maga king May 29, 2020 5:35PM ET
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sometimes violence is necessary. looters should be punished. capital punishment!
Joe Joe
Joe Joe May 29, 2020 5:35PM ET
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agreed.... the policemen or anyone who used violence that caused death should be punish.. and maga king suggested for cspital punishment...
rob finch
rob finch May 29, 2020 5:35PM ET
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you should go to work for your Commie brothers in Beijing.
Paul blk
Paul blk May 29, 2020 2:09PM ET
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Piece of propaganda from Reuters, not news. Yes, sadly he talks silly many times, including the shooting threat. Shame on activists Jeff Mason and Elizabeth Cullifor who want to portrait Trump saying ALL protesters are Thughs, and didn't include the full tweet (like 160 char is too long to include) where he tho mentioned the looting is "dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen" or without mentioning his previous day tweets that "At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd...". ."...I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!". Shame on you Reuters!
Paul blk
Paul blk May 29, 2020 2:09PM ET
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good to see you updating the story, sad that only after user reacting to your bias and sad that Not as a Correction, admiting your fault, but silently editing the article after posting it. Still i expected higher quality from Reuters. @Investing.com, why not get some news from WSJ too?
maga king
maga king May 29, 2020 2:09PM ET
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I have long been saying Reuters is a Canadian socialist organization. their "report" is full of bias
ali bakr
ali bakr May 29, 2020 1:21PM ET
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fired? is that just penalty for being an accomplice to *******
Holly Sorensen
Holly Sorensen May 29, 2020 1:07PM ET
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Trump's been looting people his whole life...where's the shooter for that?
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers May 29, 2020 1:07PM ET
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where are the leftists condemning the looters??
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers May 29, 2020 1:07PM ET
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if I had a biz and thugs are looting i want police and military protection
maga king
maga king May 29, 2020 1:07PM ET
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Klaus Weyers klaus use your guns. shoot them dead!
Anthony Badalamenti
Anthony Badalamenti May 29, 2020 1:07PM ET
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Maga, you are correct. People have a right to protect their property.
Kwong To
Kwong To May 29, 2020 1:07PM ET
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Maga king. Finally you people get a taste of your own medicine!
Pwr Strk
Pwr Strk May 29, 2020 12:55PM ET
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this post is footnoted with a FB instead of TWTR in order to hide the actual market feeling against what Twitter is doing
Paul blk
Paul blk May 29, 2020 12:55PM ET
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good point, @Investing.com, why hide that?
Pingsheng Li
Pingsheng Li May 29, 2020 12:55PM ET
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that would be peacefúll forever.in HK
 
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