Trump’s decision to put words in Floyd’s mouth was nonetheless roundly criticized.Joe Biden, his presumptive Democratic opponent in the November election, immediately lashed out at Trump for invoking Floyd’s name, calling it “despicable.”
“George Floyd’s last words, ‘I can’t breathe,’ have echoed across our nation and around the world,” Biden tweeted.”For the President to try to put any other words in his mouth is frankly despicable.”
Since Floyd’s May 25 death and subsequent protests, which have included rioting and looting in many US cities, Trump has favored a military response.
Presenting himself as a “law and order” president, Trump has threatened to send the US military into the streets to quell the ongoing demonstrations.
Trump reiterated on Friday that authorities need to “dominate the streets,” and criticized governors in states that had rejected sending in the National Guard during protests and rioting.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper rebuffed Trump over the idea of deploying troops, a proposal that earned sharp criticism from previous Pentagon leaders including Jim Mattis.
Trump has always believed the best policy for reducing inequality is promoting economic growth among African Americans.
“What you now see… is the greatest thing that can happen for race relations, for the African American community, for the Asian American, for the Hispanic American, for women, for everything,” Trump said Friday.
“Our country is so strong, and that’s what my plan is. We’re going to have the strongest economy in the world,” he added.
For the past three years, Trump has repeatedly claimed that he has “done more for the black community than any president since Abraham Lincoln,” who abolished slavery in the 1860s.