President takes no questions following statement on China and the World Health Organisation
Donald Trump avoided addressing the death of George Floyd and subsequent riots today shortly after Joe Biden said he spoke to the grieving family.
At a White House event to announce retaliatory measures against China, Mr Trump ended his remarks without mention of Mr Floyd and without taking questions from the gathered press.
Confused media asked “why not address Minnesota?” as the president left the Rose Garden after the short remarks, leaving his comments on the crisis to his Twitter feed.
“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means…” he said earlier, referring to his ongoing feud with Twitter.
“….It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honour the memory of George Floyd!”
Mr Trump was expected to address the nation on the continued riots in the Twin Cities after his Democrat opponent said he spoke to Mr Floyd’s family earlier on Friday.
“Weeks like this we see it plainly that we’re a country with an open wound. And none of us can turn away. None of us can be silent. None of us can any longer, can we hear the words ‘I can’t breathe’ and do nothing,” Mr Biden said during a live stream from his Delaware home.
“We need justice for George Floyd. We need real police reform, to hold cops to a higher standard that so many of them actually meet, that holds bad cops accountable and repairs relationships between law enforcement and the community they’re sworn to protect.”
While fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday, Mr Trump’s tweets focused on the rioting “THUGS”, which was flagged by Twitter with a “glorifying violence” label.
Twitter’s treatment of Trump’s tweets over the past two days is at the core of the president’s executive order this week to enforce Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a move expected to remove protections from Twitter over the content of its users.
Mr Biden said now was no time for incendiary tweets that encourage violence.
“This is a national crisis. We need real leadership right now. Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so we can take measures to root out systemic racism,” he said.
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