President Donald Trump on Friday spoke in the Rose Garden about the economy and improving, yet still high, unemployment numbers, suggesting at one point that George Floyd would be happy with how things are going and that a strong economy was important to improving racial tensions in the United States.
About 22 minutes into his speech, which covered a variety of topics (you can watch the whole thing, via C-SPAN, here), Trump said:
"Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality."
It's not clear whether Trump was saying that in reference to the jobs numbers or if it was referring to his comments about "equal justice" that immediately preceded it.
Just before the reference to Floyd, the president said governors should use the National Guard to control protesters and "dominate the streets." He added that "equal justice under the law must mean every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender or creed. They have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement."
"We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen," he said, referencing Floyd's death.
After his speech, Trump didn't take questions but did comment on his plans to address systemic racism, according to ABC News.
The president's comments garnered swift criticism as people across the country continue to protest, demanding justice for Floyd and other members of the black community who have been killed by police.
Meanwhile, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll found two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans disapprove of the way Trump is handling the response to Floyd's death, and three-quarters (74 percent) of Americans believe the killing of Floyd is part of a broader problem in the treatment of African Americans by police.