President Trump praises law enforcement, condemns looting, vandalism in Kenosha visit

KENOSHA, Wis. — President Donald Trump focused his attention on the impact of recent protests on business and law enforcement during his visit to Kenosha on Tuesday.

Trump said the trip was all about thanking law enforcement.

“These are great people,” he said during a roundtable event. “These are great, great people. These are brave people. They’re fighting to save people they never met before in many cases.”

Trump falsely took credit for deploying the National Guard, which Gov. Tony Evers authorized on Monday.

Those joining the president for the roundtable included Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and local law enforcement in Kenosha.

Trump, Johnson and Steil said it was a coordinated local, state and federal response that helped the city start moving forward, and they pushed back against what they call anti-police rhetoric.

“We have to condemn the dangerous, anti-police rhetoric,” Trump said. “It’s getting more and more, it’s very unfair. You have some bad apples, we all know that, and those will be taken care of through the system.”

The group did not bring up Jacob Blake, the man police shot several times, or the protesters killed by an out-of-state teenager.

Reporters pressed on what the president thinks of systemic racism and the call for change.

“I think people are calling for structural change, and then you can take the people of Kenosha that aren’t here and that you won’t see protesting, but they want change also,” Trump said. “They want to see law and order. That’s the change they want. They want law and order.”

Two people who say they are the pastors for Blake’s mother joined Trump on his roundtable. They offered a prayer and said they want to be of service to bring true peace to the country.