- On Sunday, President Donald Trump defended protesters resisting coronavirus lockdowns, some of whom have sent death threats to governors, as “good people” who were suffering from “cabin fever.”
- Trumps comments were made after a week of unrest in the US, with anti-lockdown protests taking place in several states, and death threats being made against Democrat governors.
- Trump added — as an explanation — that he had never seen so many American flags, and that these people loved America and wanted to get back to work.
- Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.
President Donald Trump is calling protesters who are rallying against coronavirus lockdowns and in some cases even threatening the lives of governors “good people.”
At a coronavirus briefing at the White House on Sunday, Trump was asked by a reporter whether he was inciting violence by calling on people to “liberate” states, including Michigan, Virginia and Kentucky, which are currently on coronavirus lockdown.
He said: “They’ve got cabin fever. They want their lives back.” He added: “No I am not [inciting violence]. I’ve never seen so many American flags. These people love our country. They want to get back to work.”
He was then asked if he had seen news reports about Nazi flags, and said: “I totally would say, no way. I’m sure the news plays that up. I’ve seen American flags, all over the place.”
The reporter’s question on Sunday came following reports of death threats against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear — all Democrats.
One public death threat against Beshear was made on a forum on Facebook started by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The comment said: “Down with Beshear! First he denies us our constitutionally protected right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Then he denies us of our constitutionally protected right to practice our religion. Now he denies us are constitutionally protected right the peaceful protest. By these … unconstitutional acts on the part of Andy Beshear the Constitution protects us and gives us the authority to eliminate him by any means necessary via the Second Amendment.”
The person who made the comment later said it wasn’t a threat.
It’s not the first time Trump has sided with protesters who have been attending rallies and breaching lockdown protocols. According to CNN, last week when he was asked about protests in Michigan, instead of using his platform to tell people to stay home, he said: “Well, they’ve been going through this a long time, and it’s been a tough process for people … there’s death and there’s problems staying at home, too.”
Following that, on Friday the president tweeted: “LIBERATE VIRGINIA,” adding that the Second Amendment needed to be saved since it was under siege. He was referring to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s crackdown on gun ownership. Trump also tweeted in support of anti-lockdown protests in Michigan and Minnesota.
After Trump’s “LIBERATE” tweets, NBC reported that far-right social media users were saying the president was showing his support for a call to arms.