President Trump called people who tear down or deface monuments "terrorists" on Thursday and promised there would be "retribution." The president addressed the subject during a socially distanced town hall event in Wisconsin with Fox's Sean Hannity, the Hill reports. "Every night we’re going to get tougher and tougher, and at some point there is going to be retribution because there has to be," Trump said. "These people are vandals, but they’re agitators, but they’re really, they’re terrorists in a sense." The president, who plans to sign a "very strong executive order" protecting monuments, said there would not have been unrest, including the toppling of a statue, in Madison this week if the state had elected a Republican governor in 2018.
Trump said people who want to have monuments like statues of Confederate leaders removed should go through the proper channels. "You know, we can take things down, too," he said, per the AP. "I can understand certain things being taken down. But they ought to go through a process, legally. And then we take it down, in some cases put ’em in museums or wherever they may go." The president spoke to Hannity in front of around 50 supporters and took questions from the audience for 30 minutes, the first of which was the softball: "What do you think is your greatest accomplishment, in your eyes?" CNN reports that Trump didn't provide an answer when Hannity asked him what his top priority items for a second term are. (Read more President Trump stories.)