Faulkner presses Trump: ‘What do you think the protesters need right now, from you?’
In an interview with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner, President Donald Trump answered hard questions regarding protesters’ call to defund the police and ban chokeholds, and discussed what it means to be a “law and order” president.
Trump, who is usually snarky with the press, took a more serious tone with Faulkner who reminded him that she is both a Black woman and a mom who was deeply affected by the video of George Floyd’s death.
Said Faulkner: “I want to talk about where we are in terms of the Black community and people of color.”
“I hear you use the word ‘rioter,’ and I understand, we covered it on Fox News … and [the riots] were heartbreaking to see,” she continued. “At the same time, there were peaceful protesters, and they were hurting, and I know you and your team watched that eight minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd … and Mr. President, your response to that is different than a person of color, and I’m a mom. When he called out ‘mom’ on that tape … it’s a heart punch.”
“So, I’m curious from you, what do you think the protesters want, what do you think they need right now, from you?”
Trump responded calmly, saying: “I’ve watched [the rioting/protesting] very closely … a lot of them were [protesting] because they were following the crowd, but a lot of them were there because we witnessed a terrible thing, and we’ve seen it over the years. And I think it’s a shame. It’s a disgrace, and it’s got to stop.”
He also referred to George Floyd’s death as “eight minutes of horror.”
“But, as you also know, we have incredible people in law enforcement and we have to cherish them and take care of them and we can’t let one bad apple ruin the reputation of millions of people who take care of us,” he continued.
When asked what he wants to see changed, if anything, he said: “I want to see really compassionate but strong law enforcement and I don’t want to see any mistakes.”
This comment, of course, brought up the topic of chokeholds. Faulkner asked Trump his opinions on the call to ban chokeholds, and his initial reaction was to say that the issue of chokeholds was a “tricky point.”
He further explained, stating that if an officer is alone in the field and he knows he’s caught a “really bad” person, then there should be leniency. He explained that when you’re in a fight like that, unfortunately, things can happen, though it’s rarely purposeful. However, in the case that there are four officers on, say, one person, as was the case in Floyd’s death, the situation then becomes very different.
Faulkner reacted well to this, asking: “So you think it should be a sliding scale?”
He put it plainly: “Yes, but generally speaking, [chokeholds] should be ended.”
So, what does it mean to be a “law and order” president? To President Trump, it means: “We have to keep our police and law enforcement strong. But, we have to do it right.”
After the interview, Faulkner appeared on Special Report. When asked about her impressions of the president’s answers, Faulkner said: “I think the president is quite used to talking about the politics of the moment, but in this moment, there was no getting around the fact that the interviewer looked a lot like the protesters in the street and I made the point of putting that out there, and I don’t normally, but I think it’s worth something.”
“I know what he tapped into … he watched the eight minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd’s death, and he tapped into the hurt and the pain and he understands that … it was a fascinating conversation to get in there with the president and see where he is.”
Though Faulkner challenged the president, the two had a great rapport, with free-flowing and open communication. Conversations like these are more important than ever, and they prove that our president is doing not only the work necessary but also the listening necessary to lead the country forward.
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Maxwell Anderson/Released
Scroll down to comment!