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As it happenedended1590787576

President is slammed for leaving ‘press conference’ without addressing Minnesota as he disbands US relationship with WHO

Chiara Giordano,Danielle Zoellner
Friday 29 May 2020 14:05 BST
Trump calls protesters ‘thugs’ after George Floyd death in police custody

Donald Trump held a "press conference" on Friday to discuss the United State's relationship with China, but then left the Rose Garden without taking questions or addressing the mounting situation in Minnesota following the death of George Floyd.

The president announced during his statement the US would disband its relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This statement came moments after he shared two tweets attempting to clarify his "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet released late Thursday night about the violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd. Twitter attached an unprecedented warning to a tweet by Mr Trump, accusing him of "glorifying violence".

Following the "press conference" in the Rose Garden, the president later held an additional conference to address the death of Mr Floyd. The president said he spoke with Mr Floyd's family and expressed his condolences.

"We all saw what we saw and it's very hard to even conceive of anything other than what we did see. Should never happen, should never be allowed to happen, a thing like that," Mr Trump said, sentiments people initially thought would happen earlier in the Rose Garden.

Mr Trump's war against Twitter continued into Friday just one day after he signed an executive order to limit legal protections against social media sites that shields them from liability about content posted on their platforms.

The war first started when Twitter fact-checked a tweet the president posted about mail-in voting. It only heightened when it labelled Mr Trump's protest tweet as "glorifying violence".

Former Vice President Joe Biden attacked the president for his tweets and his handling of the situation in Minnesota. "This is no time for incendiary tweets. It's no time to encourage violence," Mr Biden said. "This is a national crisis, and we need real leadership right now."


Good morning and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in the US and the Donald Trump administration's response to it.

Chiara.Giordano29 May 2020 09:50

Twitter has added an unprecedented warning to a Trump tweet, warning users that the post "glorifies violence".

The message was added to a post in which Mr Trump seemed to threatened that people protesting against the death of an unarmed black man in custody could be shot.

Chiara.Giordano29 May 2020 10:00

Donald Trump has signed a controversial executive order that could allow federal officials to go after technology giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google over how those firms monitor and treat content that appears on their websites.

The president, who has uttered thousands of false or misleading statements since taking office, complained as he signed the missive that social media firms have "unchecked power," adding: "Imagine if your phone company edited or silenced your conversations."

Chiara.Giordano29 May 2020 10:11

Journalist James O'Malley, who created the 'Trump Alert' Twitter bot, has unearthed this Trump tweet from 2015. 

Chiara.Giordano29 May 2020 10:16

Trump says National Guard may needed to ‘get the job done right’

Donald Trump on Friday called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and said that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — drawing another warning from Twitter for his rhetoric. Trump tweeted after protesters outraged by the death of a black man in police custody torched a police station.

Earlier Thursday, Trump said “I feel very, very badly” about George Floyd’s death while handcuffed and in the custody of Minneapolis police. “That’s a very shocking sight.”

Trump’s language got more aggressive as violence boiled over in Minneapolis on Thursday night. In a late-night Twitter message, the president said he would send in National Guard troops to “get the job done right” if the “weak” mayor failed to restore order, suggesting lethal force might be needed.

He added: “These THUGS are dishonoring 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!”

Twitter added a warning to Trump’s tweet about the Minneapolis protests, saying it violated the platform’s rules about “glorifying violence.”

Adam Forrest29 May 2020 11:12

Seven people shot during Louisville demonstrations

Seven people have been hit by gunfire in Louisville, Kentucky a protest on Thursday night over the death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her home by police earlier this year.

Of the people shot, two were taken to hospital for surgery, while the other five are reportedly in good condition. The precise origin of the shots is unclear, but authorities say they came from among the protesters.

Mayor Greg Fischer said: “I feel the community’s frustration, the anger, the fear, but tonight’s violence and destruction is not the way to solve it. Breonna’s death was a terrible tragedy, but as Breonna’s family said tonight, answering violence with violence is not the answer.”

Adam Forrest29 May 2020 11:18

Trump more trusted on economy than Biden, poll shows

Donald Trump is trusted more than the Democratic rival Joe Biden to handle the economy, polls show, even with more than 40 million Americans filing jobless claims and growth stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some Biden supporters fear that vulnerability could intensify if Trump becomes the face of an economic recovery as the country re-opens after shutdowns, giving the Republican president’s re-election prospects a boost when he needs it most.

Though the former vice-president has an edge on Trump in overall support ahead of the November election, Reuters/Ipsos polling this week showed Trump with a 42 per cent to 34 per cent lead over Biden in terms of which candidate was trusted more on the economy.

Americans were split between who has a better plan for a national recovery: 37 per cent favoured Biden while 35 per cent favoured Trump.

A spokesman for Biden’s campaign, TJ Ducklo, said Biden “has and will continue to make the clear case for an economic recovery that makes rebuilding a stronger, more inclusive middle class the centrepiece”.

Adam Forrest29 May 2020 11:20

Minneapolis riot: ‘State of agony’

Here’s the front page of Minneapolis newspaper Star Tribune this morning. The paper reports on a “night of terror” as the city and neighbouring St Paul were “convulsed in chaos”.

Adam Forrest29 May 2020 11:24

500 National Guard troops deployed

What’s the state of play with the National Guard in Minnesota? The troops were called out earlier on Thursday by Governor Tim Walz following successive nights of protests and looting, but kept a low profile.

In a late-night Twitter message, Donald Trump said he would send in National Guard troops into the city of Minneapolis to “get the job done right” if the “weak” mayor failed to restore order – and suggested lethal force might be needed.

The Minnesota National Guard  has explained: “We have activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities.”

Adam Forrest29 May 2020 11:30

Twitter chief exec knew about decision to mask Trump tweet

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey was informed in advance by the company's staff of a decision to tag a tweet by Donald Trump as "glorifying violence", a spokeswoman for the company has said.

"The decision was made jointly by teams within Twitter, and our CEO Jack Dorsey was informed of the plan before the Tweet was labelled," the spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Chiara.Giordano29 May 2020 11:39

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