Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden on Thursday said President Trump is “rooting” for more violence on U.S. streets because he sees it as a political benefit.
“He views this as a political benefit to him,” Mr. Biden said in a live interview on MSNBC. “He’s rooting for more violence, not less, and is clear about that.”
Mr. Biden pushed back against the Trump team’s line that people wouldn’t be “safe” in his America by pointing out that the ongoing unrest and violence is in fact happening on Mr. Trump’s watch.
“Joe Biden’s America — while running a video of Donald Trump’s America,” he said. “This happens to be Donald Trump’s America.”
Mr. Biden, who has generally eschewed in-person events during the coronavirus pandemic, said he would consider traveling to Wisconsin if it could be done safely.
“If I were president, I’d be going, but it’s hard to tell now what the circumstance on the ground is,” he said.
Two people were shot to death this week in Wisconsin amid ongoing protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, on Sunday.
Mr. Trump on Wednesday said he was sending in federal law enforcement to try to keep the peace in Kenosha.
Mr. Biden had pointed to comments from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway earlier in the day as an example of how Mr. Trump’s team views the unrest.
Mrs. Conway was trying to push back on comments from former 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who blamed Mr. Trump for the violence.
She also referred to a man who was quoted as asking protesters “Are you trying to get Trump re-elected?” from behind a smashed store window.
“He knows, full stop, and I guess Mayor Pete knows, full stop, that the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order,” Mrs. Conway said on Fox News.