McConnell Won't Condemn Clearing of Peaceful Protesters

Senate majority leader introduces his own resolution, which also gets blocked
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2020 12:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – A resolution was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday that would have condemned President Trump's controversial actions against peaceful protesters Monday night in Washington, DC, but Mitch McConnell blocked it, Axios reports. The resolution would have condemned Trump "for ordering federal officers to use gas and rubber bullets against the Americans who were peaceably protesting in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC on the night of June 1, 2020, thereby violating the constitutional rights of those peaceful protesters." The protesters were cleared so that Trump could make his now-infamous walk to a nearby church, which also proved controversial. McConnell introduced his own resolution, which would have condemned both racial injustice and riots, but Chuck Schumer blocked it.

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In blocking the initial resolution, McConnell said that rather than working toward "justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror," it simply "indulges in the myopic obsession with President Trump that has come to define the Democratic side of the aisle." The AP reports, however, that McConnell on Tuesday did acknowledge, "You can understand the outrage" of those protesting the deaths of black people at the hands of police. "There is no question that there is residual racism in America. It’s been a longtime dilemma and we all wish we could get to a better place," he said, while not commenting directly on Trump's handling of the unrest. Other Republican lawmakers have suggested the president should work to calm the nation rather than inflame tensions, and multiple officials in and around DC have pushed back on the aggressive actions taken against protesters. (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)

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