Yesterday, President Trump threatened to deploy the United States military if governors did not do more to end violent protests and looting that has been seen in many cities around the country. While the majority of demonstrations have so far been peaceful, President Trump had earlier told "weak" governors that they "have to dominate" the streets.
"We cannot allow the righteous prize and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob," Trump said, condemning the death of George Floyd. "The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as they are President, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your President of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters."
Trump said that people had been attacked, and the "dreams" of small business owners "utterly destroyed" in the violence.
“A number of state and local governments have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residents. I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans.”
An active-duty military police battalion of 200 to 250 military personnel are set to deploy to Washington D.C.
Following his address in the Rose Garden, police used smoke grenades and rubber bullets to clear demonstrators from Lafayette Square Park so that President Trump could get photos taken outside the vandalized St John's Episcopal Church.
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, who oversees the church, said that she was "outraged" over the move. Budde labelled the actions as “antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for.”
CNN claims that the impromptu photo-op was organized because President Trump was angry about coverage of Trump and his family being rushed to the White House bunker as protests outside the White House raged on Monday.
In response, Anderson Cooper slammed President Trump on yesterday's edition of Anderson Cooper 360.
Cooper said that 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.”
He added 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.”
The reporter said that he had “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."
He continued: “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.”
In response to the photos taken outside of the church, Cooper added: “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. 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."
Unsurprisingly, Cooper's statement attracted a strong response on social media.
"I showed this to my daughters," one user wrote. "Thank you, Anderson Cooper for saying the truth. I can’t believe the President has cops fire tear gas and rubber bullets at people so he could walk to a church that didn’t want him there."
"Pissed off Anderson Cooper is the best Anderson Cooper," another concluded.
While one user concluded: "CNN is all-in on just mocking Trump ruthlessly for clearing Lafayette for his photo op. Anderson Cooper calls it, 'Low-rent and sad,' like he's describing a casino in Indiana. Amazing."