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President Trump pushes racial division, flouts virus rules at Mount Rushmore speech & fireworks

Fireworks over Mount Rushmore
Getty Images via CNN
Fireworks over Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, South Dakota — At the foot of Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day, President Donald Trump made a direct appeal to disaffected white voters four months before Election Day, accusing protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”

The president dug further into American divisions Friday night, offering a discordant tone to an electorate battered by a pandemic and wounded by racial injustice following the high-profile killings of Black people. He zeroed in on the desecration by some protesters of monuments and statues across the country that honor those who have benefited from slavery, including some past presidents.

“This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore,” Trump said. He lamented “cancel culture” and charged that some on the political left hope to “defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.” He said Americans should speak proudly of their heritage and shouldn’t have to apologize for its history.

“We will not be terrorized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people,” Trump added. “It will not happen.”

The speech and fireworks at Mount Rushmore came against the backdrop of a pandemic that has killed over 125,000 Americans. The president flew across the nation to gather a big crowd of supporters, most of them maskless and all of them flouting public health guidelines that recommend not gathering in large groups.

The discord was heightened as the Trump campaign confirmed during the president’s speech that Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for the campaign and the girlfriend of Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., had tested positive for the coronavirus while in South Dakota. Both Guilfoyle and Trump Jr., who serves as a top surrogate for the president, are isolating themselves and have canceled public events, according to Sergio Gor, chief of staff to the Trump campaign’s finance committee.

During the speech, the president announced he was signing an executive order to establish the National Garden of American Heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the “greatest Americans to ever live.”

Amid the campaign headwinds, the president has sharpened his focus on his most ardent base of supporters as concern grows inside his campaign that his poll numbers in the battleground states that will decide the 2020 election are slipping.

Trump in recent weeks has increasingly lashed out at “left-wing mobs,” used a racist epithet to refer to the coronavirus and visited the nation’s southern border to spotlight progress on his 2016 campaign promise to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The event, while not a campaign rally, had the feel of one as the friendly crowd greeted Trump with chants of “Four more years!” and cheered enthusiastically as he and first lady Melania Trump took the stage.

“They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive,” Trump said. “But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history and culture to be taken from them.”

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem echoed Trump’s attacks against his opponents who “are trying to wipe away the lessons of history.”

“Make no mistake: This is being done deliberately to discredit America’s founding principles by discrediting the individuals who formed them,” she said.

The small town of Keystone, which lies a couple of miles from the monument, was buzzing with people Friday hoping to catch a glimpse of the fireworks and the president. Many wore pro-Trump T-shirts and hats. Few wore masks.

“This is going to rank up in the top Fourth of Julys that I talk about,” said Mike Stewhr, who brought his family from Nebraska.

Mike Harris of Rapid City, who said he was a Republican, wore a mask and waved an anti-Trump flag. He also was sporting a handgun on each hip. He said he was worried the event would spark a COVID-19 outbreak.

“I think it’s a bad example being set by our president and our governor,” Harris said.

Leaders of several Native American tribes in the region raised concerns that the event could lead to virus outbreaks among their members, who they say are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of an underfunded health care system and chronic health conditions.

“The president is putting our tribal members at risk to stage a photo op at one of our most sacred sites,” said Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Some Native American groups used Trump’s visit to protest the Mount Rushmore memorial itself, pointing out that the Black Hills were taken from the Lakota people.

More than 100 protesters, many Lakota, lined the road leading from Keystone to the monument holding signs and playing Lakota music in 95-degree heat. Some held their fists in the air as cars loaded with event attendees passed by. Others held signs that read “Protect SoDak’s First People,” “You Are On Stolen Land” and “Dismantle White Supremacy.”

“The president needs to open his eyes. We’re people, too, and it was our land first,” said Hehakaho Waste, a spiritual elder with the Oglala Sioux tribe.

About 15 protesters were arrested after blocking a road and missing a police-imposed deadline to leave.

Several people who once oversaw fire danger at the national memorial had said setting off fireworks over the forest was a bad idea that could lead to a large wildfire. Fireworks were called off after 2009 because a mountain pine beetle infestation increased the fire risks.

Noem pushed to get the fireworks resumed soon after she was elected, and enlisted Trump’s help. The president brushed aside fire concerns earlier this year, saying: “What can burn? It’s stone.”

Trump has presided over a several large-crowd events — in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and at an Arizona megachurch — even as health officials warn against large gatherings and recommend face masks and social distancing. He plans a July Fourth celebration on the National Mall in Washington despite health concerns from D.C.’s mayor. Trump and Melania Trump plan to host events from the White House South Lawn and from the Ellipse.

Campaign 2020 / News / Top Stories / US & World / Video

Associated Press

CNN

Comments

56 Comments

  1. The Biden campaign loves it when the orange buffoon holds one of these white trash meet and greets because everytime he has one and he makes a speech, Sleepy Joe’s poll numbers go up at least 2 points. Keep talking orange buffoon!

    1. Spreading fake news again Alberto aka markturner. At least President Trump can make a patriotic speech. Biden can’t say one word without stumbling all over himself or gaffing out. You mean the same polls that said crooked Hillary had a 95% chance of getting elected? LMAO.

    2. You are an idiot. What trump is saying is the truth. The left ate evil people and if you agree with them that makes you evil. Left does not care about black people they just care about their votes. They dont care about people dying from corona because its population control. More people are getting it but more are not getting it so maybe its not as bad as the left is making it seem

  2. Do you even watch his speeches? They are inspirational, motivating and spot on every time. He is America!! You crap your pants every time he speaks because you know he’s right and you know if he ever gets the chance to debate Biden he will assassinate him and it won’t be pretty. You are shacking in your boots. He is a dynamic speaker and is making America Great. God bless America and Happy 4th of July.

          1. It’s original maga: He’s so America he dodged the draft. Lol. End of story.

    1. He’s a bullshitter. He lies like a rug. Reagan was a great speech giver. This asshole is a liar and a buffoon. He’s unfit to be in charge of picking up trash. You Trump-loving dumb fucks who claim to be Republican are also dumb fucks. I wouldn’t let Trump be in charge of jerking off a mule at a dude ranch, as he’d fuck that up, too. Let’s just say Bolton is right; The President is a stupid mother fucker, and those who worship him are also stupid mother fuckers.

      1. Too much booze? Mean drunk Steve psycho ranting. Seriously you need to go to rehab or get medical help for your severe TDS. Your TDS makes you look like a dumbass libtard hater. You know you have serious personal issues when morons like Alberto like you.

    2. Best thing to happen to Biden is the pandemic. He can’t campaign in public. Biden is an idiot, but at least he’s not a traitor like Trump.

  3. White Republican privilege on display in its full glory! All the rest of us have to wear a mask, but Trump’s bunch can gather in the thousands and be on top of each other while getting entertained by the Chief Divider. Two weeks from now most of these people will either be quarantined or in the hospital taking up space that was reserved for someone who was infected despite taking care of themselves. Proves that Trump is doing everything and anything to get elected. Thing is, it’s not working. He just keeps showing people what an imbecile he is. The American people don’t want an idiot for president and will vote for Mr Biden in November which will be not a minute too soon!

    1. Where was your concern when people were protesting for George Floyd? Or Rioting and burning buildings? Or taking over downtown Seattle? Not a peep. Don’t worry, they’ll be fine. Have you seen the death rate of this so called dangerous virus? Oh and if people are “getting infected despite taking care of themselves”, what’s the point of masks? A hoax?

        1. I already won. I do my homework. I do my research. I’m VERY informed. Read that last comment more carefully and you’ll understand what I mean. Look at the hypocrisy of Ux2. My comments require people to have to think.

          1. You don’t do any homework. Reading headlines from FNC and Breibart isn’t education. Jesus fucking Christ, you’re fucking retarded. Next time I bang your mom, I’ll leave her a sympathy card.

          2. I do a TON of homework and it isn’t from Breitbart or FNC. And resorting to mom joke? what are you 12? And you call me retarded? Your disgusting. You need to stick to Sportstalk radio. moron.

          3. No actually I’m your biggest threat. I expose your hypocrisy and lack of intelligence. A few of us hit close to home and you can’t stand it. You don’t like me because you can’t win an argument against me. You’ve NEVEFR proven anything I say wrong and you’ve never proven anything you’ve said right.

  4. Maga the Brainwashed little hamster ranting again! He thinks Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Poor thing is delusional. Tump is more inspirational than a sermon from Billy Sunday, he says. Trump is greater than Lincoln, Washington, FDR, Kennedy he says..wow! When he appears in public women swoon, and children jump up and down with glee, he says. You must have a playlist of all his speeches that lull you to sleep every night. What ever are you going to do in November when he has to pack his whole family and go back to New York where the courts wil be waiting for him?

          1. I don’t watch the news. I study facts. Do you know what the purpose of polls is? You think you know everything but do you know that? The purpose of polls is NOT to inform but to persuade. The sole intend is to make voters complacent. If people think it’s all wrapped up, there is not point to vote. What you CONSTANTLY FAIL to understand is that Trump supporters, the silent majority, don’t buy into it. In fact, many, many Democrats are actually “Walking Away” from the Democratic party and will be voting for Trump. That’s the reason for all the panic on the left. That’s why the MSM and the left constantly attach Trump. They feel it slipping away. They hate him because he wins.

    1. Again this from the A-hole who said I shouldn’t been served a meal for having an opinion. You hate us because we stand up for what we believe in. You’re used to weak Republican who roll ever and die. You’re not used to people like me who stand up to bullies like you.

  5. I don’t hate you. I just know that people who worship the orange buffoon and accept or share his vile and filthy politics are ruining our country and making us the laughing stock of the world. You shouldn’t be served or allowed in any business or place where decent people gather. The Republican party needs to go back to being the party of Reagan or better yet H.W. Bush and cleanse itself of orange buffoon filth.

    1. Your TDS makes you look very ignorant. You are nothing but a fascist communist hater. Alberto’s premier schizo nut job. You don’t know jack about the Republican Party since you are a member of the Communist Party of America. Anti-American.

  6. Panic spreader Duffus Trump used up all of his night’s hot air in his 4th of July speech warning of the evil Lives Matter supporters(67% of American Public) who are bent on destroying America. And his Covid19 prone hillbillies ate it up. Nixon had the Watergate Scandal and VietNam, Trump has his moronic response to a Pandemic, Black Lives Movement, and Ukraine. At least Nixon had the Decency of Resigning for the good of America. Trump has no Decency or Love for America. It is All about him, Trump, and about his kin folk. He could care less about America, as long as there is something in it about himself. #BIDEN/HARRIS2020!

    1. What a moron! Vietnam was not a Nixon scandal. He got us out of that 10 year war. That war was owned by the Democrats and LBJ. You trying to rewrite history you fake news turd. BTW – Where is Biden’s 4th of July speech…..crickets? Gaffe, gaffe, gaffe. TRUMP 2020!!!!!!

  7. Look, right wingers. Instead of posting on on this site, which cites CNN news, go to the Fox site, which according to you is the Real News. There you don’t have to catch so much flak for your idiotic views. They might even call you heroes for backing your idiotic president.

  8. Albert the Grammar school dropout doesn’t know about the millions of war protesters who pressured Nixon to go to Paris and sit with the North Vietnamese to sign a Peace accord. Same way millions are pressuring our government to come up with laws to protect us from Police brutality and to tear down racist Confederate monuments. Dude, did you flunk History 101?

  9. Couldn’t beat down North Vietnam with constant bombings so he sent his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to Paris to sign a cease fire in early 1973. Anti- war protesters in the millions pressured Tricky Dickie into ending the war otherwise it would have dragged on longer than the Afghan war. Please open your dusty History books, son.

    1. You’re the that admitted you joined the Navy to avoid going to Vietnam, you coward. Then your sorry ass couldn’t complete an enlistment without getting an “other than honorable” discharge for homosexuality and drugs. Sorry excuse for a human being!

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