Trump advisers concerned president has damaged his election chances with hard-line response to George Floyd protests

President’s handling of coronavirus pandemic and demonstrations widely criticised

James Crump
Monday 08 June 2020 20:50
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Colin Powell says he will not be voting for Donald Trump

Some of Donald Trump‘s advisers are concerned that his response to the George Floyd protests has damaged support with his own voters, according to reports.

The president’s aides and advisers are concerned for his chances at the 2020 presidential election, after his responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the protests have been criticised, according to the Associated Press.

Some of the aides are concerned that Mr Trump’s push for law and order and his hard-line response to protesters, has energised young and African American voters to vote against him in November.

Protests have taken place all over the US for more than a week now, in opposition to police brutality against African Americans, following the death of Mr Floyd.

Mr Floyd died after being detained by Derek Chauvin, who at the time was a Minneapolis police officer, but has since been fired and charged with second degree murder and manslaughter.

The president’s response to the protests has been controversial, and one of his tweets about demonstrators was flagged and hidden by Twitter.

Last month, Mr Trump tweeted: “These THUGS are dishonouring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. 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!”

Mr Trump’s post was later hidden by Twitter for “glorifying violence”, but was kept on the site, as the social media giants argued it was in the “public’s interest”.

The president has fared poorly in polls this year, and has seen his approval rating fall steadily during the coronavirus pandemic, as his refusal to wear a face mask and early attempts to downplay the seriousness of the virus attracted widespread criticism.

In a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, that was published in April at the height of the pandemic, 55 per cent of Americans said that they disapproved of the president’s handling of the outbreak, which was up from 49 per cent the month prior.

The president has also seen his support fall with Republicans, and In a poll by Ramussen Reports, published in May, 23 per cent of likely Republican voters said they wanted the GOP to nominate a different candidate for November’s election.

Mr Trump is now planning an address to the nation on TV this week, in order to spread a message of unity and restart his election campaign, according to CNN.

One of Mr Trump’s top advisers, told Axios that some of his aides think that the president needs to present a more unifying message to the voters, if he is going to gain enough support be re-elected this year.

A senior adviser told the outlet: “There’s a thought that we need to shift to be much more cohesive in terms of a message of healing, rebuilding, restoring, recovering...a theme that goes with Covid and the economy and the race stuff.”

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