President Donald Trump advocated shooting and killing protesters and anyone looting during the protests in cities across the country. It was just one of the many things Trump said over the past week that prompted his allies and advisers to beg him to tone it down.
....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim… https://t.co/1KhT776DPw— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1590727994.0
According to Axios, those working inside and outside the White House have urged Trump to quiet his racially charged and violent rhetoric, because it could escalate tensions and ultimately hurt him and other Republicans politically.
"Some advisers said it could damage him severely with independent voters and suburban women," said Axios. "After not going to sleep until the early hours of Friday morning, President Trump woke to a string of conversations with advisers who told him he had a problem."
His most trusted aides, including Hope Hicks schooled him on the KKK-roots of his comments "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." The phrase was part of the justifications for police brutality in the 1960s during the Civil Rights movement.
On Friday, Facebook reached out to the White House about Trump's message urging them to change it, even if the site didn't remove the post for racism or inciting violence, sources told Axios.
Trump then spoke with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, where the tech giant "expressed concerns about the tone and the rhetoric," but refused to do anything to curb such statements on the site.
"Even aides who usually laugh or shrug their shoulders at Trump's more outrageous tweets considered this one a problem. Some said they saw direct political implications," said Axios.
Trump has been fighting against national public opinion over the coronavirus and now seems to be doing the same when it comes to police brutality and the plight from which people of color suffer.
Trump's advisers recognize that his inflamatory statements are reminiscent of his statements about Charlottesville, Virginia, where Trump called Nazis and white supremacists "very fine people."
A senior White House official called the tough stance "stupid," noting that they generally like it when Trump stands up for law-and-order. They were reportedly relieved when they could distract Trump with the SpaceX launch instead of the protests.