President Donald Trump has heralded law enforcement from the early days of his campaign. He sings the praises of police and claims that he fought for them. But Saturday night, Trump took a different turn, claiming that the Washington, DC police refused to do their jobs.
"Today, I stand before you, as the President of the United States, to tell you that my Administration will always honor, cherish, and support the men and women in blue" said Trump last fall.
But that turned to an attack.
....good practice.” As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand. T… https://t.co/9z94YuOVBM— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1590842464.0
Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King quoted the Secret Service forced to fact-check the president's lie.
"The Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Park Police were on the scene," the statement said.
Photos and videos showed the DC police out in full force.
Now we start part two of the DC protests tonight: another large group of protestors facing off with police at 16th… https://t.co/0XPIPw5aPC— Garrett Haake (@Garrett Haake) 1590880801.0
I’ve never seen Lafayette militarized to this level in the eight years I’ve lived in DC. There’s an armored unimog… https://t.co/kUKZTg0Qc5— Alejandro Alvarez (@Alejandro Alvarez) 1590883638.0
Mayor Muriel Bowser hit back with her own statement, saying that Trump is scared and hiding behind a fence while America burns.
While he hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/ people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right a… https://t.co/sVj1acqGDk— Muriel Bowser (@Muriel Bowser) 1590846250.0
"Perhaps, I should be the last person to ask that question, having devoted a recent column to his record of intentional dishonesty and deceit," King conceded. "Yet to see, at this immediate and incendiary moment, the president intentionally telling a story as he wants it to be (or maybe believed), and not as it is — all without any regard for the consequences — is not only annoying; it should be alarming."
"What world is he in?" he continued. "In the same four-part tweet, Trump said if the protesters had breached the White House fence, they would 'have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.' Dogs and weapons have long been part of the Secret Service's arsenal. Who is Trump trying to scare or buck up — himself, perhaps?"
Saturday, Trump also began tweeting about MAGA Night at the White House. It was unclear if he was trying to urge his supporters to come to protect him at the White House, or he wanted his supporters to clash with protesters. Either way, it ended much like "Waiting for Godot," as the rally of Trump supporters never manifested en masse.
"What can you say about a person who persistently tells lies that are blatant and easily shown to be untrue? What about a president who — in the middle of angry protests and a pandemic burning across the nation — finds time to cast himself as a victim and pick a fight with a mayor who has done nothing to him?" asked King. "And doing it with a lie? What's the real story with Donald Trump?"