'Opportunistic' Trump has an ulterior motive for hyping Virginia gun rally on MLK day: MSNBC guest
Rev. Mark Thompson -- screengrab

During a panel discussion on MSNBC's "AM Joy," the Reverend Mark Thompson claimed that President Donald Trump is sending a message to his rabid base by hyping up a pro-gun rally in Virginia on Martin Luther King Day.

Addressing the rally to be held in Richmond, which has the entire state on edge and forced lawmakers to ban weapons at the event in the name of safety, Thompson told host Joy Reid it was accident that the president linked the rally to a day when Americans celebrate the life of the civil rights leader who was gunned down in 1968 in Memphis.

Asked about Trump's tweets about the rally, the reverend called them disgraceful.

"This is just another opportunity Donald Trump is taking, opportunist that he is, to try to exploit what really is a sacred holiday," he told the host. "How do you engage in something promoting guns on the day in which the very dreamer was assassinated with a gun?"

"But this is his M.O." he continued. "And he's trying to appeal to his base in the hopes that will help him in 2020 and probably also distract from this impeachment but it's not going to work."

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