Trump likens himself to Martin Luther King Jr while boasting about low black unemployment

Kellyanne Conway claims civil rights leader would not support impeachment

Alex Woodward
New York
Monday 20 January 2020 16:09
Comments
Kellyanne Conway says Martin Luther King jr would not support impeachment

Donald Trump has linked his achievements on the anniversary of being sworn in as president with Martin Luther King Jr‘s birthday, as the he boasted of low unemployment among black Americans.

On Twitter, the US president wrote: “It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office. So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY. African-American Unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far. Also, best Poverty, Youth, and Employment numbers, ever. Great!”

Asked how Mr Trump is celebrating this year’s nationwide memorial recognising the murdered civil rights leader, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said the president “agrees with many of the things” Dr King stood for, including “unity and equality”.

Then she pivoted to the president’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate, saying: ”He’s not the one trying to tear the country apart.”

Ms Conway said Dr King’s “vision” did not include “Americans dragged through the process where the president is not going to be removed from office”.

The administration listed no public events celebrating Dr King on Monday. The president issued a proclamation on 17 January in advance of the federal holiday, writing that the administration “works each day to ensure that all Americans have every opportunity to realise a better life for themselves and their families regardless of race, class, gender, or any other barriers that have arbitrarily stood in their way”.

Mr Trump and Mike Pence, the vice president, did visit Dr King’s memorial marker in Washington DC. This year, his campaign’s Twitter account posted a photograph showing Mr Trump walking through the memorial – a photo taken at last year’s wreath-laying ceremony – to “honour the life” of Dr King, but it did not disclose that the image was from last year.

His campaign account also juxtaposed images of Dr King with footage of the president appearing with black Americans as part of a fundraising video.

Mr Trump largely spent the day in Washington in 2019 because of a government shutdown that effectively grounded the first family. In 2018, he was in Palm Beach, Florida. He spent this weekend in Florida and Texas, where he addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Ms Conway said she spent the morning “reading some of the lesser-known passages by Dr King” and said that she appreciates that “we as a nation respect him by giving him his own day”.

This morning, the White House issued a message on Twitter, saying the president will “pause to honour the incredible life and accomplishments” of Dr King, who was assassinated on 4 April 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he was addressing striking sanitation workers amid preparations for a Poor People’s Campaign.

Minutes later, the president wrote his support for a “Lobby Day” rally in which thousands of gun rights activists – including far-right militia members – gathered in Virginia to protest gun control legislation in the state.

The president accused Democrats of “working hard to take away” Second Amendment rights. “This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in