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Trump: Kenosha Unrest Was 'Domestic Terror'

'You have to be tough,' he says after touring area damaged in protests
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2020 4:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump visited protest-wracked Kenosha, Wis. Tuesday, despite objections from local leaders, and blamed the unrest on "domestic terror." The president surveyed parts of the city damaged in protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake and spoke to law enforcement officers, the Washington Post reports. "You have to be decisive, and you have to be tough, and you have to be strong, and you have to be willing to bring people in," the president told officers, claiming that the protests ended as soon as the White House announced that he would visit the city. "These are not acts of peaceful protest but, really, domestic terror," said Trump, who slammed Democratic leaders and described police violence as the result of "bad apples," not any systemic problem.

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There was a massive police presence as Trump's motorcade passed groups of demonstrators, some cheering and others jeering, the AP reports. Trump didn't meet with Blake's family, who attended a community festival near where the 29-year-old was shot. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was also in attendance, said he had discussed strategy with protest organizers, the New York Times reports. "If they demonstrate, it would be a big mistake. Trump would use it as a commercial." Before he traveled to Wisconsin, Trump called Kenosha mayor John Antaramian a "fool" and a "very stupid mayor" and claimed to have seen TV footage of mobs trying to break into his house, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The mayor said nothing of the kind had happened. (Trump has declined to condemn the actions of the teen charged with fatally shooting two protesters.)

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