President Donald Trump is being called "incoherent" for one of his most recent talk-radio appearances about the killing of George Floyd and systemic police violence in general. On Friday, MSNBC host Chris Hayes drew attention to the president's scattered rhetoric by merely reading a transcript from his recent on-air call with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. Hayes argued that "you can never get the full flavor of how incoherent Trump is until you actually just read the transcript."
Hayes read from a transcript of Trump's conversation with Kilmeade on Wednesday, where they discussed the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations around the country and the national debate about police violence. Hayes pointed out that Kilmeade seemed to be trying to "coach" the president through the question, specifying what kind of answer he wanted and repeating the question when he didn't get it. He also began by citing an Axios Ipsos poll, which showed that 70 percent of white Americans say they trust the police, but only 36 percent of African Americans do. "How do you attack that problem? How do you change things?" Kilmeade asked.
You can never get the full flavor of how incoherent Trump is until you actually just read the transcript.June 6, 2020
"Well, I think it's a very sad problem. As you know as a Republican I'm doing very well with African Americans and with the vote with the — in polls and everything — especially I mean I haven't seen one very recently because you had the plague come in from China," Trump said. "So that changed things up, but we had the best economy ever. We had the best numbers for African American on employment and unemployment in history. Best homeownership — best everything. We had the best numbers in everything — not only African-American, but the African American numbers were great."
Kilmeade pressed the question two more times, but Trump did not get any more specific. The closest he came to a concrete answer was saying that law enforcement officers "have to get better at what they've been doing" — a phrasing that many critics thought was more frightening than reassuring. He also deflected to outrage at the media for implying that he did not mention the protests enough last Saturday in his speech at the Kennedy Space Center.
Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the recent surge of protests — some of which have turned into property destruction, looting and violent clashes with police and the National Guard. Even among Trump's usual supporters, his advocacy for the use of force has been condemned, and his own military advisers have spoken out against his orders.