President Donald Trump continued his crusade against protesters targeting statues and national monuments, comparing the ‘angry mob’ to Nazis and terrorists, during a fiery Fourth of July speech.
Speaking from the White House South Lawn on Saturday, Trump blasted ‘the radical left’ as well as members of the ‘media’, as he vowed to protect America’s history and the legacy of war heroes.
‘American heroes defeated the Nazis, dethroned the fascists toppled the communists, saved American values, upheld American principles, and chased down terrorists to the very ends of the earth,’ he said.
‘We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing.’
President Donald Trump speaks during a “Salute to America” event on the South Lawn of the White House, Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump promised never to allow ‘an angry mob’ to tear down statues, ‘erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedom.’
In a message to members of the media, Trump accused them of ‘slandering’ the American people by labeling to their ‘opponents’ as racists.
‘When you level these false charges you not only slander me, you not only slander the American people, but you slander generations of heroes who gave their lives for America.
‘You slander people much braver and more principled than you. You’re slandering the young men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima and those who perished fighting for freedom in the Civil War.
‘You are dishonoring their great legacy and their memory by insisting that they fought for racism, they fought for oppression. They fought for the exact opposite.
‘We will not let the legacy of these people to be slandered by you.
Trump’s Fourth of July event follows a Friday night speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota where he accused ‘angry mobs’ of trying to erase history and used the speech to paint himself as a bulwark against left-wing extremism.
Members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team displays an American flag while landing on the Ellipse near the White House on July 4
Paratroopers from the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team perform over the White House
People wait for US President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during the 2020 Salute to America at the White House
Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival in the November election, struck a contrasting note with the Republican president and accused him in a Fourth of July op-ed of finding every day ‘new ways to tarnish and dismantle our democracy.’
‘We have a chance now to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed, a full share of the American dream,’ Biden said in a separate letter to donors.
In his Mount Rushmore speech, Trump made little mention of the pandemic that has hit his re-election hopes, even as COVID-19 moved further into Trump’s inner circle. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a senior campaign official and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., tested positive in South Dakota before the event.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had tried to dissuade the Trump administration from holding the fireworks display over the National Mall and informed the Department of the Interior that it went against health officials’ guidance amid the pandemic.
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand on stage on the White House South Lawn with the Jefferson Memorial and a small crowd of supporters on the Ellipse in the background as they host a 4th of July “2020 Salute to America” to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day holiday at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Apart from fireworks spectators, activists of different stripes also appeared willing to disregard the health warnings.
Roar of the Deplorables, a bikers group, said via social media that they, too, were planning to gather in Washington on Saturday to stand in protest against what they call ‘the anti-Trump regime’ and to celebrate the nation’s birthday.
Freedom Fighters DC, a new activist group which seeks to rally an ethnically diverse generation of supporters behind liberty for all people, especially the Black population of Washington, is one of the anti-racism groups ignoring the mayor’s heed to refrain from gathering.
‘Black folks are not free from the chains of oppression, so we don’t get to truly celebrate Independence Day,’ said Kerrigan Williams, 22, one of the founders of the group, which will host a march and an arts demonstration on Saturday afternoon.
‘We’re marching today to showcase that Black folks are still fighting for the simple liberties that the constitution is said to provide.