President Donald Trump announced to the press out of the blue that there is a law protecting Civil War statues called the Monuments Act. The Monuments Act, however, is about the use of public lands owned by the federal government for the preservation of historic, prehistoric, and scientific interests, like National Parks. It has nothing to do with statues.
What he actually plans to use is the 2003 Veterans Memorial Preservation Act which prohibits military statues from being destroyed. While Washington, D.C.’s mayor has the power to pardon offenders or commute a sentence, in the past it has been controlled by the Justice Department. It could give D.C. a unique opportunity to demand states rights in a legal battle.
Still, the president announced that the people responsible for trying to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson are going to be put in jail for a long time, he said, because he would be creating an Executive Order to mandate it. There hadn’t been any announcement about such an order until the president announced it. It sent many to speculate that there was no order and that White House staff were likely sent scrambling to create whatever Trump announced.
Trump also announced that he wasn’t “kidding” when he said that there should be less testing.
Q: "Mr. President, at that rally when you said you asked your people to slow down testing, were you just kidding, or do you have a plan to slow down testing?"
Trump: "I don't kid."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 23, 2020
NEW: Asked whether he was kidding when he claimed at his Tulsa rally he had instructed officials to slow down COVID-19 testing, Pres. Trump says, "I don't kid."
— ABC News (@ABC) June 23, 2020
"I don't kid," said Pres Trump, asked if he was kidding when he said he ordered a slow down in Coronavirus testing. He again made the case that by conducting so many tests, it turns up more Coronavirus cases, which he said makes the US look bad. pic.twitter.com/kdwmC8LcXl
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 23, 2020
Just now I asked the President if he was kidding when he said he told his people to slow down testing, which is how White House officials explained the comment.
He said, “I don’t kid.”
He also said again testing is a double-edged sword, and praised the job the U.S. has done.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) June 23, 2020
It’s not worth fighting over whether Trump was kidding about coronavirus testing. He doesn’t know what he’s doing and is playing games with us. That’s what matters.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) June 23, 2020
The president then went on to congratulate himself for having the largest rally crowd in history, both in-person and online. It’s a similar claim used by the White House in 2017 to claim the president’s inauguration crowd was the largest in history when photos showed the contrary.
See the mockery below:
Let’s put up statues of Obama all over DC & make Trump defend them 🤣
— William LeGate 🧢 (@williamlegate) June 23, 2020
Trump just said he’s “looking for long jail sentences” for all protestors who were arrested yesterday in Layfayette Square. Will someone please tell him our system is governed by a “presumption of innocence.” He REALLY doesn’t know how to “president” does he?
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) June 23, 2020
Trump didn't just "delay" coronavirus testing.
He committed fraud on the American people. Daily. At a constant. For months. Over 122,000 Americans dead and over 2.3 million cases. He should spend the rest of his life in prison. So should everyone else who's in on Coronagate.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 23, 2020
So Republicans are more upset about the statues than they are about the 122 thousand dead humans?
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) June 23, 2020
Trump: “I don’t kid.”
Bookmark this for both today and every future day when his cling-on sycophants try to claim he was joking about something. https://t.co/g0BsXQkd6V
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 23, 2020
Trump is doing more to protect statues than American citizens.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 23, 2020
Next time someone whines about a statue being toppled, remind them of what Trump has pulled down or destroyed that can NEVER (or not without extreme difficulty) be rebuilt.
Like national treasures of pristine land
— Terry Roy, Author/Artist/Book Designer (@tm_roy) June 23, 2020
Trump lounging in the White House, watching Fox with his diet coke and a dripping Big Mac with a side of KFC original recipe breasts
His new statue Executive Order in place
"Hopey get one of my SS boys in here … See that woman with the yellow t-shirt, arrest her now" pic.twitter.com/FuwxvkkGWP
— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@riotwomennn) June 23, 2020
There isn’t a word accurate enough to describe this evil.
He must be voted out. https://t.co/ddjI1Tr6vs
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 23, 2020
What do we want?
A statue of President Trump.
When do we want it?
— Sir Kit Breaker (@JohnRob92251513) June 23, 2020
.@mschlapp, a CPAC person whose wife is a Trump flack, had nothing to say about the attempt to take down Andrew Jackson's statue in Lafayette Park other than that Jackson was a Democrat, and that therefore the Democrats were in trouble. Imbecile.
— George Szamuely (@GeorgeSzamuely) June 23, 2020
Trump wants 10 year jail sentences for vandalising statue.
Pigeons are scared.
— Huguenot House 🎪 🕷️🕸️🕯️⭐🏴 (@HuguenotHouse) June 23, 2020
So his comment about slowing down testing wasn’t “tongue in cheek” after all. https://t.co/79txtCv3rY
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) June 23, 2020
Also there are a few things that need to happen between someone getting arrested and being sentenced to 10
years in prison. And none of them involve any kind of “authorization” by the President.
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) June 23, 2020
— Ezra Levin (@ezralevin) June 23, 2020
Trump contradicts his own aides and says he was not kidding when he said he asked for a slowdown in coronavirus testing: “I don’t kid, let me just tell you.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 23, 2020
TRUMP: I asked my aides to slow down testing.
REPORTER: Did Trump slow testing?
KAYLEIGH: He was kidding.
REPORTER: Were you kidding?
TRUMP: I don't kid.
REPORTER: He said he did slow testing.
KAYLEIGH: The media also said testing would increase the numbers of COVID cases.
— JeremyNewberger (@jeremynewberger) June 23, 2020
The border is 1900 miles long. #TrumpFail
— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) June 23, 2020
It will be interesting how history teachers try to explain Trump 50-60 years from now https://t.co/RaGIBV3nqj
— Howie Klein (@downwithtyranny) June 23, 2020