comScore Robert O'Brien: Trump's Tweets Were Trying to Stop Violence

NatSec Adviser O’Brien Claims Trump Was ‘Trying to Stop the Violence’ When Pressed on Threat to Set ‘Vicious Dogs,’ ‘Ominous Weapons’ on Protesters

CNN’s Jake Tapper confronted White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday over President Donald Trump’s warnings that he will take threatening actions against protesters in the midst of the national uproar over George Floyd’s death.

Throughout the interview on State of the Union, O’Brien railed against the “Antifa radicals” who’ve used the Floyd protests as a cover to riot, destroy property and antagonize the police. Tapper eventually turned the discussions toward Trump’s inflammatory comments throughout the outrage, particularly the president’s recent tweets where he sneered at the protesters and threatened to sick “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” on them if they got out of hand.

“Do you think messages like that are helping to unite the country and calm fears?” Tapper asked O’Brien. This prompted the national security adviser to claim “[Trump] was trying to de-escalate. He didn’t want violence, he’s trying to stop the violence that we saw that took place overnight.”

“The message, and it’s a strong message, that we want law and order in this country. We want peaceful protesters who have real concerns about brutality and racism, they need to be able to go to the city hall, they need to be able to petition their government and let their voices be heard,” O’Brien said. “They can’t be hijacked by these left-wing Antifa militants…many of whom are imported from Seattle or Portland or who knows where they come from, across state lines, and they’re hurting our people.”

Tapper maintained focus on Trump’s tweet despite O’Brien’s deflection, noting that “this is not calming language” despite O’Brien’s claim to the contrary.

“I don’t doubt that President Trump was disturbed by the video of George Floyd,” Tapper said, “but the president, his passion has not been about the way you’re speaking this morning about what happened to George Floyd and the indecency of that, but about the protesters and the violence some of them are causing. And we have government officials, Democrats and Republicans, saying that the president is using inflammatory language.”

O’Brien responded by decrying the “bad apples” in law enforcement and acknowledging the protesters’ right to demonstrate peacefully. He quickly returned, though, to slamming “these Antifa radicals using military tactics to kill and hurt and maim our police officers.”

“They need to be stopped and I think that’s where the passion from the president is coming.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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