Donald Trump said he wants to see "MAGA Night" at the White House on Saturday evening, encouraging supporters to show up after angry protests broke out around Washington, D.C., and near the White House building the previous night.
The protests were part of a nationwide movement calling for justice after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other people of color killed by police. Trump was already under fire for what appeared to be a threat to authorize the U.S. military to open fire on looters, and many turned their anger toward him during demonstrations on Friday. The White House was put on lockdown during the protests as demonstrators knocked down a barricade nearby.
Trump responded on Saturday morning by praising the actions of Secret Service members who kept things under control. He also seemed to invite his own supporters to show up at night.
"Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???" the president tweeted.
When asked about the tweet, as well as fears that inviting his supporters amid calls for reforms that address structural racism could spark racial unrest, Trump said he was not worried. As Rolling Stone reported, he said he believed his supporters did not have racist tendencies, saying that "MAGA loves the black people."
"No no, not at all," the president answered when asked if his tweets could stoke more racial violence or discord. "MAGA says make America great again. These are people that love our country."There have been fears that the growing unrest could turn more violent as white supremacist groups reportedly plan to take part in protests. As The Inquisitr reported, Minnesota officials said that some of those arrested during the demonstrations in the Twin Cities have come in from outside the area with the intent of causing mayhem. Others have warned that white supremacist groups have been advertising online for their members to attend.
In addition to the above concerns, The Associated Press reported on Friday that the Department of Defense took the rare step of telling soldiers at a number of bases to be prepared to potentially travel to Minneapolis or other cities to quell unrest. As the report noted, the military has not been used for civil unrest within the United States since the riots in Los Angeles following the Rodney King verdict in 1992.
During protests on Saturday, a number of cities instituted mandatory curfews and some called on the National Guard to help quell unrest.