Donald Trump spoke at a press conference about U.S. employment on Friday and called it "a great day" for George Floyd. While addressing how the unemployment rates have decreased, Trump said he hopes Floyd is "looking down" and "saying this is a great thing." Trump went on to say that this is a "great, great day" for everyone. Floyd died on May 25, after a Minnesota police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.
In his first comments on Floyd's death, Trump tweeted on May 27 that his "heart goes out to George's family and friends." He explained that he had requested that both the FBI and the Department of Justice complete an investigation into Floyd's "very sad and tragic death." He also stated he "asked for this investigation to be expedited," and added he greatly appreciated "all of the work done by local law enforcement." He concluded his message by asserting, "justice will be served!" Subsequently, all four officers involved in Floyd's death have since been arrested. The officer who knelt on Floyd has been charged with second-degree murder, and the other three have been charged with "aiding and abetting."
I had to clip this because it is unbelievable. President @realDonaldTrump just said this: “Hopefully, George is looking down right and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. It’s a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody.” #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/6CbGoLJrRg— Vladimir Duthiers (@vladduthiersCBS) June 5, 2020
Bystanders caught Floyd's death on camera and the footage quickly went viral. This led to mass protests across the nation, some of which were followed by rioting and looting. On May 29, Trump lashed out at the protesters that he believes "these THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd," and that he intends not to "let that happen." Trump later added, "Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
In a previous tweet, Trump stated that he "can't stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis," and blasted Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey for what he calls a "total lack of leadership." He then referred to Frey as a "very weak Radical Left Mayor." Trump stated that if Frey doesn't "get his act together and bring the City under control" then he would "send in the National Guard [and] get the job done right." Notably, the National Guard had already been present in the city when he posted this particular tweet.