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Twitter Flagged Donald Trump & the Official White House Account for “Glorifying Violence” & That’s Probably the Most We Can Ever Expect

Trump looks pouty in the Oval Office.

Late Thursday night, Donald Trump was on Twitter railing against the ongoing protests in Minneapolis. In a set of tweets, he called the protesters “THUGS,” called the city’s mayor “weak,” and threatened to send in the National Guard. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he wrote.

Twitter took action against Trump’s tweets for the second time this week (also ever), flagging it as having “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.” However, they left the tweet up, saying “it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.” So essentially, this is the equivalent of writing the tweet a sternly worded letter.

Earlier Thursday, Trump did something he doesn’t do very often, especially when it comes to Black people: He expressed empathy.

“I feel very, very badly,” he said of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, calling it “a very shocking sight.” His press secretary said that he “was very upset when he saw that video [of Floyd’s death.]”

Just a few hours later, though, he was back tweeting his racist, violent messages and retweeting them on the official White House account.

(That line about looting and shooting, by the way, is a quote from Miami Police Chief Walter Headley, who, in the 1960s, frequently defended and even promoted the use of police brutality in Black neighborhoods. It’s also often attributed to Alabama’s infamously racist former governor George Wallace. I’m going to guess Stephen Miller is behind Trump’s usage.)

Trump continued tweeting Friday, writing that the National Guard is in Minneapolis and that they are going to guarantee that “George Floyd will not have died in vain,” which makes absolutely no sense.

All of this comes just barely a week after Trump offered encouragement to the overwhelmingly white and also heavily armed “protesters” who stormed the Michigan statehouse over lockdown orders. He called them “very good people.” He’s calling Black protesters “thugs.”

(image: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.