President Trump visits Kenosha

 President Trump visits Kenosha

The Republican president blamed “domestic terror” for the “destruction” in the Midwestern city.

Kenosha saw days of violence after police shot Jacob Blake in the back and left him paralysed on 23 August.

Opinion polls show Mr Trump is narrowing Democratic rival Joe Biden’s lead ahead of November’s election.

The president is pushing a strong “law and order” message. Mr Biden has accused Mr Trump of stoking racial division.

“Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames,” the former US vice-president said ahead of Tuesday’s trip

The president visited areas damaged in the protests, including a burnt-out furniture store destroyed in the upheaval.

“These are not acts of peaceful protest, but really domestic terror,” he told local business leaders at a round table meeting in a high school gym.

Mr Trump defended the actions of US police and accused the media of focusing only on “bad” incidents involving officers.

“You have people that choke,” he said. “They are under tremendous pressure. And they may be there for 15 years and have a spotless record and all of a sudden they’re faced with a decision. They have a quarter of a second to make a decision. And if they make a wrong decision, one way or the other, they’re either dead or they’re in big trouble.

“And people have to understand that. They choke sometimes.”

The president did show some empathy for those hurt in confrontations with police, saying he felt “terribly for anybody who goes through that”. But he said he did not believe there was systemic racism in law enforcement.

Mr Trump said he sent the National Guard into Kenosha, though they were deployed by Wisconsin’s governor and supported by 200 federal law enforcement officials ordered in by the president.


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