President Donald Trump declared Black Lives Matter a treasonous movement after seeing a Fox News segment featuring one of the group's leaders.
The network's Martha MacCallum hosted Hank Newsome, president of Greater New York Black Lives Matter, on her program Wednesday, and the president reacted Thursday afternoon after the interview was widely shared across social media.
"Black Lives Matter leader states, 'If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it,'" Trump tweeted. "This is Treason, Sedition, Insurrection!"
McCallum had asked Newsome to justify his past remarks justifying violence in pursuit of civil rights, and he was surprised by the way she framed her question.
"Wow, it's interesting that you would pose that question like that," Newsome said, "because this country is built upon violence. What was the American Revolution, what's our diplomacy across the globe?"
He said Black Americans had seen historic gains in wealth and property ownership after riots in the 1960s, and he said that might be necessary to achieve even greater equality.
"I said, if this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it," Newsome said. "All right? And I could be speaking ... figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It's a matter of interpretation."
Black Lives Matter leader states, “If U.S. doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and rep… https://t.co/xkcLUX0tMk— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1593106173.0