Donald Trump has accused the Black Lives Matter movement of “dividing America” amid renewed tensions surrounding police brutality and race relations while suggesting he identified with African Americans who felt as though the system was stacked against them.
The presumptive Republican nominee addressed the fallout from deadly police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, and the killing of five police officers in Dallas, during both an interview with Fox News and a rally in Westfield, Indiana.
But even as he expressed concerns over the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, describing videos of the encounters as “tough to watch”, Trump blamed Barack Obama and Black Lives Matter as primarily responsible for divisions over race.It looks like Trump was right if you look at the video below where a Fox News correspondent was attacked when he covered a Black Lives Matter rally in Minnesota.
“I think it’s certainly, it’s very divisive and I think they’re hurting themselves,” Trump told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in reference to the phrase “black lives matter” and the eponymous movement leading national demonstrations for criminal justice reform.
“The first time I heard it I said ‘You have to be kidding,’” said Trump. “I think it’s a very, very, very divisive term. There’s no question about it.”
Asked what he would say to African Americans who feel as though the system was biased against them, Trump drew an analogy with his own campaign.
“Well, I’ve been saying, even against me the system is rigged,” Trump told O’Reilly. “When I ran for president I could see what is going on with the system, and the system is rigged.
Trump criticised the killings of Sterling and Castile as “a terrible, disgusting performance” by police. He struck a similar note while taking the stump in Indiana on Tuesday evening.
“The two people killed in Louisiana and Minnesota, it was tough to watch,” Trump said. “I hated watching it.”
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