Trump attempts to tie Biden aides to 'anarchists' protesting around the US

President set to remain out of public view for second consecutive day amid violence in major American cities

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Monday 01 June 2020 14:31
National Guard called in as White House protest turns violent

Donald Trump is criticising aides to Joe Biden for donating money to help those arrested during weekend protests post bail, calling the protesters "anarchists" and backing the claim by many on the right that white supremacists are involved in the violent demonstrations.

The president is slated to remain out of public view on Monday for a second consecutive day, but he fired up his Twitter account as he again showed no signs of being ready or willing to try calming tensions across the country.

Violent protests around the White House for a third consecutive night on Sunday caused the Secret Service to shut down the exterior lights that illuminate the executive mansion at night. Mr Trump was inside, but remained quiet on Twitter most of the night -- but that changed on Monday morning.

"Sleep Joe Biden's people are so Radical Left that they are working to get the Anarchists out of jail, and probably more," he wrote, misspelling the nickname he has given to the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee ('Sleepy Joe').

"Joe doesn't know anything about it, he is clueless, but they will be the real power, not Joe," Mr Trump claimed, continuing his contention the 77-year-old Mr Biden has lost a step mentally and his potential administration would be run by his staff. "They will be calling the shots! Big tax increases for all, Plus!"

The president appeared to be responding to reports that 13 members of Biden's campaign staff have donated money to an organisation called the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which opposes forcing people to pay money to avoid being incarcerated before facing trial.

Those staffers posted about their donations on social media sites. The situation was first reported by Reuters.

Biden opposes the practice of making those arrested pay cash to get out of jail, calling it "modern day debtors prison," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Reuters.

The president also posted a tweet aligning himself with some conservative commentators' claim that white supremacists are not amid the protesters in Minnesota, New York, Washington, Atlanta and other cities.

"'I don't see any indication that there were any white racist groups mixing in. This is an ANTIFA Organization. It seems that the first time we saw it in a major way was Occupy Wall Street. It's the same mindset.' @kilmeade @foxandfriends TRUE!" he wrote, quoting Fox & Friends host and Fox News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade.

Mr Trump and many on the right are pushing back on claims made by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, that up to 80 per cent of those protesting in Minneapolis are from out of town. He has blamed white supremacists and organised drug cartels for being behind the weekend's violence.

The president on Sunday claimed he would designate the Antifa movement a terrorist organisation, but national security and legal experts quickly questioned whether he has the legal authority to do so. He has blamed that group and similar ones from what he dubs the "radical left" for the violence.

The White House has yet to provide evidence of its claims.

He also called for Democratic mayors and governors to be "tougher" against the protesters after he was taken to an underground bunker beneath the White House during Friday night's protest in Lafayette Park

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