This morning, a slew of big-name reporters — including the New York Times’s Peter Baker and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins — claimed, or led you to believe, that Donald Trump said he hoped George Floyd was looking down on America cheering on its excellent new job numbers. A bunch of outlets ran with the story. Trusting the reporting, I assumed the president, as is his wont, said something absurd or offensive to undermine his own good fortune.
The full video of the comment, however, shows an entirely different context. Trump is speaking about the police’s and National Guard’s efforts to maintain peace in cities, and the importance of meting out “equal justice under the law,” which “must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender, or creed.” It’s from this perspective he says he hopes “George” is looking down at us.
Now, you can argue with Trump’s contention about law enforcement acting properly, but it is reasonable for him to bring up Floyd in the context of policing.
Do the press corps not have enough Trump material to work with? Because it’s difficult to believe that this sort of thing happens — always skewed in the same direction, by the same people — by accident.