Trump Says Police Should Fight Back Against Protesters Who Clash With Officers

by 24USATVSept. 16, 2020, 5:50 p.m. 16
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Fielding compelling questions about voters’ real-world problems, President Donald Trump denied during a televised town hall that he had played down the threat of the coronavirus earlier this year, although there is an audio recording of him stating he did just that. Trump, in what could well be a preview of his performance in the presidential debates less than two weeks away, cast doubt on the widely accepted scientific conclusions of his own administration strongly urging the use of face coverings and seemed to bat away the suggestion that the nation has racial inequities. Face-to-face with everyday voters for the first time in months, Trump was defensive but resisted agitation as he was pressed on his administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and why he doesn't more aggressively promote the use of masks to reduce the spread of the disease. “There are people that don’t think masks are good,” Trump said, though his own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly urges their use. The event, hosted by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, was a warmup of sorts before Trump faces Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the first presidential debate on Sept. 29. Taped at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, it featured Trump taking questions from an audience of just 21 voters to comply with state and local coronavirus regulations. Trump sought to counter his admission to journalist Bob Woodward that he was deliberately “playing it down” when discussing the threat of COVID-19 to Americans earlier this year. Despite audio of his comments being released, Trump said: “Yeah, well, I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action." “My action was very strong,” Trump added. “I’m not looking to be dishonest. I don’t want people to panic.” Trump also suggested the virus would disappear without a vaccine, claiming the nation would develop a herd immunity with time, but he didn't mention the lives that would be lost along the way. A Black woman with a disease that left her uninsurable until the Obama health care law came asked about her concerns that could lose coverage again since the Trump administration is challenging that law in the U.S. Courts. President Trump told her that his administration has a new health care plan that will also provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Stephanopolous pointed out that Trump has said in other interviews that the health care plan is coming, but it has never materialized. Trump replied that the new plan "Is much better." A Black pastor questioned Trump’s campaign motto to “Make America Great Again.” “When has America been great for African Americans in the ghetto of America?” the pastor asked. Trump described the economic progress made by African Americans from the time he took office until the coronavirus pandemic. Asked about what he was doing to address protests against racial injustice, Trump lamented a “lack of respect” and the absence of “retribution” for those who clash with or carry out attacks against police officers. He also said that most police in the U.S. "have done generally a great job," but that some "choke under pressure." Stephanopoulos asked about criticisms from former top defense officials who have criticized Trump and called him unfit for office. The president called General Jim Mattis who was Defense Secretary, General John Kelly who was White House Chief of Staff and former National Security Advisor John Bolton "disgruntled former employees." Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm QUICKTAKE ON SOCIAL: Follow QuickTake on Twitter: twitter.com/quicktake Like QuickTake on Facebook: facebook.com/quicktake Follow QuickTake on Instagram: instagram.com/quicktake Subscribe to our newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FJ0oQZ Email us at [email protected] QuickTake by Bloomberg is a global news network delivering up-to-the-minute analysis on the biggest news, trends and ideas for a new generation of leaders.

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