As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, President Trump said Thursday that anarchists, looters and “fools” cannot spoil the patriotic party.
“The American dream is the sacred birthright of every American child,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. “And nobody’s going to shatter the American dream — not the anarchists, not the agitators, not the fools, not the looters. They’re not going to have any impact on the national dream.”
The president credited his signing of an executive order — he erroneously called it a “bill” — calling for tough prison sentences for vandals who deface monuments and statues. He said the action “stopped” lawlessness around the nation.
“We signed a bill — you play with our monuments or our statues, you go to jail for 10 years,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s amazing how it all stopped so fast. We let the local authorities handle it as long as possible, but ultimately we said ‘let’s step in,’ and we stepped in, and it stopped.”
He also claimed that his threat of action caused local officials in Seattle to send police into an “autonomous zone” on Wednesday to take back control of the neighborhood from anarchists.
“I’m glad to see in Seattle, they took care of the problem because as they know, we were going in to take — we were ready to go in, and they knew that, too,” Mr. Trump said. “And they went in and they did what they had to do.”
Mr. Trump is traveling to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday for a fireworks display, before returning to Washington for more Fourth of July celebrations.
“As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, let us renew our devotion to this nation, to its citizens and the eternal values that shape our past and define our future,” he said.
After reviewing a “Spirit of America” display showcasing small businesses, the president said he wants to “ensure that every citizen can achieve their dream, achieve their destiny and realize their full and extraordinary potential.”
“That is how we will renew rebuild and restore America,” Mr. Trump said, adding that next year the economy will recover robustly “unless it’s tampered with” by Democrats.