Donald Trump said Monday he believes relations between police and the nation’s African-American community are “far worse” than people think, predicting that protests against police violence that followed last week’s slaying of five police officers in Dallas “might be just the beginning for this summer.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, the presumptive GOP nominee struck a balance between the law-and-order rhetoric he has espoused during his campaign and an appreciation for the concerns held by African-Americans nationwide about the conduct of police.
Trump suggested that a lack of training for officers might be at least partially to blame for the two police shootings that led to last Thursday’s protest in Dallas, where a lone gunman killed five in an act of vengeance against white officers. At the same time, Trump denounced the name of the Black Lives Matter movement as “a very divisive term.”
The interview followed a speech on veterans issues in which Trump declared, “I am the law and order candidate,” an echo of Richard Nixon’s response to protest violence that broke out in 1968 following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Like Trump, Nixon was a Republican running for president at the time.
“It’s time for our hostility against our police, and against all members of law enforcement, to end, and end immediately, right now,” Trump said during his speech, comparing anti-police sentiment to the harassment faced by returning veterans in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
But Trump also referenced the “tragic deaths in Louisiana and Minnesota” during his event, saying they made clear that “a lot of work” must be done to ensure all Americans feel their safety is being protected.
Trump said he was disturbed by the images of the killings of Alton Sterling, who was shot by police last Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after being pinned to the pavement by two officers. The altercation that captured on cell phone video.
The following day, Philando Castile was fatally shot by an officer in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, an act livestreamed on Facebook by his girlfriend.
“I thought they were horrible, horrible to witness,” Trump said. “Whether that’s a lack of training or whatever, but I thought they were two incidents that were absolutely horrible to witness. At the same time, our country is losing its spirit. African-Americans are absolutely losing their spirit.”
Trump framed that issue in largely economic terms, blaming the mood of the nation’s black community on high unemployment and low wages.
“Jobs can solve so many problems,” he said. “And we’re going to open our country up and we’re going to be a huge jobs producer again instead of having terrible jobs.
“Our good jobs are going away, they’re going away from this country,” he added. “We’re going to open our country up again for great jobs where people can make terrific livings and be happy.”
Asked specifically what he would say to African-Americans who feel targeted by police because of their race, Trump said, “We have to talk to ’em and we have to build up the spirt.”
He added: “We have to talk with the police. And we have to get people to really get along. People are not getting along in this country. We are in a divided country.”
Trump went on to predict the problem would only grow worse.
“When President Obama said the other day that he doesn’t think it’s as bad as people think, I think it’s far worse and certainly far worse than he believes it is,” Trump said. “We are in a divided nation. I looked two nights ago and you were having trouble in 11 different cities, big, big trouble. And the press actually plays it down.
“I mean, you were having big, big trouble in many cities. And I think that might be just the beginning for this summer.”
Trump also had harsh words for the Black Lives Matters movement, which has organized some of the protests. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump adviser, labeled the group “inherently racist” over the weekend in an interview with CBS News.
“When you say black lives matter, that’s inherently racist,” Giuliani said. “Black lives matter. White lives matter. Asian lives matter. Hispanic lives matter. That’s anti-American and it’s racist.”
Asked whether he agreed with Giuliani’s assessment, Trump said the group’s name is “divisive.”
“A lot of people agree with that. A lot of people feel that it is inherently racist. And it’s a very divisive term,” he said. “Because all lives matter. It’s a very, very divisive term.”
Trump added that has heard some Black Lives Matter activists say “horrible, horrible things about police and about others.”
“And certainly if they’re going to allow that to go along rhetorically, this is not a good thing for our country,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Justin W says
Donald Trump is sounding more presidential. At the same time Hillary Clinton is peddling the same tired solutions that have impoverished blacks for several decades. Hillary Clinton sees blacks as nothing more than a group to pander to and to exploit. It’s time we send old Hillary into retirement. She represents the failed philosophies of the past.
J. J. says
Donald Trump is OLDER than Hillary. He is the one we need to dump. Hillary has the new solutions, not Donald.
William Armstrong says
Yes dump Hillary she is a viper not to be trusted
Rick Worthington says
You, J.J. obviously don’t follow the latest in the news etc… With Hillary, or Donald Trump age has gotten nothing to do with the issue. With HRC you get an unhonest, very wicked and deceptive person who it has been proven, can’t be trusted. However, with The Donald, you’re getting someone who passionately LOVES his country, is self funding, and doesn’t have a mean or dishonest streak in his body! OK, so the man has his faults – but then who hasn’t? At least everybody can give him a “fair go” as the Aussies would say – if he doesn’t work out as POTUS then there’s always the next election!
If you elect Kilary there will not be “THE NEXT ELECTION” you will have marshal law- no 2nd amenment-no supreme court and you will be slaves to a “Dictator” and you will not have the ability to vote. Look back to the 1930″s and how Hitler(Killery/Obummer) did it.He had the people register their guns -2 years later He took them away declared Marshal Law and suspended voting etc.then arrested and imprisoned the people that spoke out against him-no trial lined them up against the wall and shot them. look up how Hitler spoke to the crowds (speak-pause-speak pause) and how Obummer gives his (one and the same) Don’t let the “crooked cillary” pull the wool over your eyes The Demarats (old boys club) are out to break the best country to a fifth rated banana republic
Roseanna Martin says
Time to send the whole group to hell !!!!
We as a country must start on solving problems regardless of WHO you are or what race you are. Getting our own houses in order, our families back doing what families do would be a start. This country needs borders, jobs, security, education opportunities for all, we need Americans first & foremost running our government, not foreigners. These things would be a good beginning as well as the States taking back their States from government control. People need to know what the Consititution says & abide by it. The Supreme Court is one branch of government not the only branch. We need a President in office that believes in our rights as citizens, that loves our country & that believes what the founding fathers wrote in our Constitution, which we certainly DO NOT have now nor will have if Hellery is elected in Nov.
Leaders, such as business, public and church need to come together within their communities to formulate and carry out positive plans that will improve both the physical and psychological environment that seems to permeate these neighborhoods.
When everything is overshadowed by fear and distrust, positive progress is extremely difficult to achieve.
Working within each neighbors is the only way success will be possible.
Stop the angry rhetoric. Anger serves no purpose in this endeavor.
Pool ideas and resources for positive and peaceful change.
Support positive peaceful actions.
If we want REAL change, we must ALL WORK to make it happen. That means WORK to clean up the neighborhoods…
NOT waste time and energy in marches and demostrations. WORK to promote good morals and respect for other’s and self. If you repeatedly try to insult and scorn others, just because you can, then you are only showing others that you have little respect for yourself…that
You are a “small minded” person.
EMBRACE LIFE…BUILD Connections with others and invite Hope and Success into your lives…it is your life and NO ONE but you is responsible for YOUR choices.
Today is a good day to start.
Trump is a business man and to solve problems you must face the real problems. The current administrations under both parties have not faced any problems head on. Trump is showing real reality with what is wrong. Can he solve the problems; I believe he can. It will hurt many in congress today; especially the old guard who protect the status core.
Looking forward to a business solution to the problems caused by politics.
Ralph Bryant says
Over the weekend, I saw a video upload on facebook that stopped me in my tracks. With all of the hatred and spewing filth we are all exposed to recently, that is saying something. There were two opposing factions at some demonstration, blacks against whites against Hillary against Trump……against whatever. At one point, you could actually visualize people coming to the realization that this is ALL NONSENSE. ALL STUPIDITY. ALL FOR NOTHING. One of the groups, or actually individuals from each group, started to lower their signs, to lower their banners of hate slogans, to actually show the rest of this country just how useless and meaningless this will all be when the future comes to US ALL and we are each and every one questioned and judged for what we have actually accomplished in our lifetimes…….. whether by GOD, by Allah, by whomever we put our faith in as being our Lord and Creator. As it became apparent what was happening between the different “sides” in this video, signs, banners, hate slogans and outright slurs and insults began to give way to those coming to the realization that WE ARE ALL BETTER THAN THIS. Slowly at first, and then more and more, it was all replaced with simple handshakes, words of kindness and apology, and yes even hugs and smiles. How did that just suddenly overtake seemingly opposing “enemies” ? Maybe it is past time that WE ALL follow suit and realize that those trying so hard to destroy this nation are for the most part doing these things to benefit only themselves, using the time proven war tactic of “Divide And Conquer” from within. WE, each and every one of us, are smart enough and aware enough to see WHO and WHAT are actually trying to divide this country from within, starting with our so-called “leadership” in government. So next time you hear some hatred-filled agenda of more hate, more distrust, more gun control, martial law, and those who only prove time and time again to be “creating” more problems just so they will have another crisis to “solve”, just remember……..”WE ARE ALL BETTER THAN THIS”
Martha Perry says
Trump says a lot of good things, I plan to vote for him.
The Democrats haven’t fix this country let’s give the Republicans a chance. Then at the end of the day we the people can fix our problems like the good book says. A nation that forgets God “Shall” be turned into hell. There’s a solution if we will tune in to what the Bible says about it. Listen up folks.
Stephen Russell says
Now watch early retirements, resignations from cops from now to Sept alone ( my guess).
Back to militias & vigilantes again.
& make BLM a Terror Organz with Nation of Islam, KKK, Neo Nazis, etc.
Lock & Load time.
See gun sales rise alone. (save CA) alas.
Faiyaz Awan says
I think Mr. Trump is going to be another Bors Yalsin for THE USA. LIKE Russion Bors Yalsin
We all Americans should ask to God
May God give us good president the one WHO can solve the issues the USA have in country and out in the World we all Americans should think first about USA INTEREST THEN after our self I m praying and asking to the Creator of Universit who have control over every Human mind to Support May God the president who you think is going to be Good for this Country USA.
AND may God give him brighter vision and miricle power to protect USA INTREST IN AND OUT in the World.
Faiyaz Awan says
May Almighty of Universe let to win the one who is good for AMRICA GOD you know better then us then who is going to be good president Among Donald Trump or H. R. Clinton .!!!
My pray for who can be best for USA
Live long AND strong USA IN THE WORLD .