- The Washington Times - Friday, May 29, 2020

Taylor Swift savaged President Trump on Friday for threatening to have members of the U.S. military shoot at people looting stores following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died this week in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Ms. Swift lashed out at the president from the singer’s account on Twitter, where Mr. Trump made the threat hours earlier in response to unrest sparked by Floyd’s death Monday.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Mr. Trump tweeted late Thursday night. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Ms. Swift fired from her own account on the social media service several hours later in a tweet tagging the president.

“After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November,” Ms. Swift tweeted at Mr. Trump.

Twitter has since flagged Mr. Trump’s original tweet for violating the platform’s rules about glorifying violence but has not removed it.

Defending his tweet Friday afternoon, Mr. Trump said his remark was “spoken as a fact, not as a statement.

“It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media,” Mr. Trump added.

Floyd, 46, died in police custody after a white officer, David Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Mr. Chauvin was subsequently fired and was charged Friday with counts of third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Ms. Swift, an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose accolades include 10 Grammy Awards, is wildly popular on social media, and her Twitter profile is followed by more than 86 million accounts. Mr. Trump’s profile is followed by nearly 81 million accounts, meanwhile.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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