House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that she isn’t listening to President Donald Trump after he repeatedly made controversial comments on social media that have added to the unrest gripping the nation over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota.
Police gave an interview to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos to discuss the unrest gripping the country after riots and demonstrations continued for yet another day.
The California Democrat said that the peaceful protests calling for reform in the United States had been overshadowed by some rioting and looting and expressed sadness for the man’s death, along with some recent “unfortunate statements.”
The ABC host asked if she was referring to the president, who has been facing ongoing criticism for a number of statements about the protests. Detractors say that he is contributing to discord in the country with his message rather than creating unity.
However, Pelosi rejected the idea that she was focused on the president’s messages.
“No. I’m not paying too much attention to what president says,” Pelosi responded.
“I’m talking about the injustice, the knee in the neck…I kinda ignore what President Trump says.”
Stephanopoulos asked what Trump should be doing in this time of crisis, to which she said he should be bringing dignity to the office and try to bring Americans together.
“He should be a unifying force in our country. We have seen that with Democratic and Republican presidents all along,” she said. “And not to fuel the flame, not to fuel the flame.”
She added that she doesn’t want to take the president’s “bait.”
“To take his bait time and time again is just a gift to him, because he always wants to divert attention from what the cause of the response was, rather than to describe it in his own terms,” she said.
House Democrats are leading voices in the fight for progress nationwide. We are committed to fighting injustice wherever it arises, whether in law enforcement or in America’s response to COVID-19. #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/aAJwiNjrhv
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 31, 2020
Pelosi’s comments come after 46-year-old Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis. Floyd became unresponsive after former officer Derek Chavin kneeled on the man’s neck for minutes on end as Floyd repeatedly said that he couldn’t breathe.
While Chauvin has been arrested in the death of Floyd, Pelosi said that the other officers present at the event should be arrested as well. She said that there was obviously a crime committed, and all of the people involved in the scene should be arrested. She called the death “murder” and a live “execution.”
The House is expected to consider moving forward on a proposal to ban police chokeholds in the coming weeks.