President Trump said Tuesday that “more White people” are killed by police than Blacks, and told an interviewer it was “a horrible question to ask.”
In the interview at the White House, CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge asked the president why Blacks are “still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country.”
“So are White people. So are White people. What a terrible question to ask. So are White people,” Mr. Trump replied. “More White people, by the way. More White people.”
A study by Harvard University researchers last month found that the number of White people killed by the police between 2013 and 2017 was higher than any other demographic. But Whites outnumber Blacks in the U.S. by a significant margin, and the study also showed that Blacks were three times more likely to be killed by law enforcement officers than Whites.
The president said the May 25th killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by Minneapolis police was “terrible.” The death has led to numerous protests nationwide and the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mr. Trump has previously spoken out against the actions of Minneapolis officers, and he has emphasized in numerous events his support for the vast majority of law-enforcement officers.
The president also defended a White couple in St. Louis, Missouri, who were seen on a viral video brandishing firearms on their front lawn while a group of protesters approached. A warrant has been served on them and their firearms seized.
“They were going to be beat up badly, and the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down like they tried to burn down churches,” the president said.
Asked by CBS about his previous comments on the Confederate flag belonging in a museum, the president replied, “All I say is freedom of speech. It’s very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech. Very strong views on the Confederate flag. With me, it’s freedom of speech. Very simple. Like it, don’t like it, it’s freedom of speech.”
Asked if understands the flag is a “painful reminder of slavery,” the president responded, “Well, people love it and I don’t view — I know people that like the Confederate flag and they’re not thinking about slavery.”