- Democratic nominee Joe Biden challenged President Donald Trump in a lengthy statement on the violence that broke out Saturday night at a Portland, Oregon where Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed.
- Biden flatly condemned the violence at the protest as “unacceptable … whether on the left or the right,” and called for Trump to “do the same.”
- “He may believe tweeting about law and order makes him strong — but his failure to call on his supporters to stop seeking conflict shows just how weak he is,” Biden said.
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Democratic nominee Joe Biden issued a statement on the violence that broke out in Portland, Oregon, Saturday night that culminated in a man being shot and killed after supporters of President Donald Trump clashed with Black Lives Matter demonstrators in the city’s downtown.
In the lengthy statement, Biden flatly condemned the violence at the protest as “unacceptable … whether on the left or the right.”
“I challenge Donald Trump to do the same,” the statement reads. “It does not matter if you find the political views of your opponents abhorrent, any loss of life is a tragedy.”
Biden continued on to warn against becoming a “country at war with ourselves” that “accepts the killing of fellow Americans who do not agree with you.”
“But that is the America that President Trump wants us to be, the America he believes we are,” the statement says.
Biden pointed to Trump’s divisive rhetoric, which most recently included a flood of tweets on Sunday taking aim at Portland, particularly Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, and demanding that the National Guard deploy to the city in response to protesters.
“What does President Trump think will happen when he continues to insist on fanning the flames of hate and division in our society and using the politics of fear to whip up his supporters? He is recklessly encouraging violence,” Biden wrote.
“He may believe tweeting about law and order makes him strong – but his failure to call on his supporters to stop seeking conflict shows just how weak he is,” the statement says.
The statement then said the “job of a president is to lower the temperature. To bring people who disagree with one another together. To make life better for all Americans, not just those who agree with us, support us, or vote for us.”
Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield echoed the statement’s pressure on Trump in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” where she accused the president of “inciting violence” by encouraging aggression among his supporters in the protests of recent months.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows defended Trump’s response in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where host Chuck Todd pressed the aide on the president’s refusal to condemn violence among his supporters.
“The president’s on the side of law enforcement and the rule of law,” Meadows said.
“These are people that every single night conduct violent acts,” Meadows said of demonstrators. “And it is in Democrat cities. You know, you want to talk about Donald Trump’s America. Most of Donald Trump’s America is peaceful.”