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WATCH LIVE: WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING WITH KAYLEIGH McENANY

Don Lemon: Trump Can’t Just ‘Put a Fortress Around the White House’ and Not Engage With People’s Calls for Reform

CNN’s Don Lemon sounded off on President Donald Trump Monday night for his “unwillingness” to address protests throughout the last week following the death of George Floyd. At one point, Lemon asked Trump, “What are you going to do? Put a fortress around the White House?”

Trump’s only public comments on the protest have been on Twitter, where he’s praised police presence and mostly has bashed protesters saying comments like “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump has also dodged questions from reporters related to Floyd. Floyd’s family spoke with Trump over the weekend and said he “didn’t care” about their conversation together.

On Monday, Lemon — prior to the White House announcement that the president would deliver remarks from the Rose Garden — told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “We haven’t seen this sort of unrest in the country since 1968. We’re looking at a country now that is in desperation. The people who are out here yelling at the top of their voices, fighting back against police, they’re desperate to be heard, they’re desperate to get food on the table, they’re desperate to be treated equally under the law. Many of them are desperate to find employment with the pandemic and being shut down for months.”

“This president is desperate to try to keep some sort of order and desperate to be reelected coming November,” Lemon continued. “You have these two forces that are clashing. What I hear in the President’s voice — this is just what I hear — I hear fear. Any time you are saying, ‘You guys are weak, you need to apply force.’ What are you going to do? Put a fortress around the White House, put a fortress around America and not engage with the people who are telling you, who are outside of your door screaming, ‘Hey, we need to be heard. Listen to us.’

Watch above, via CNN.

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