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By Holly Thomas Tuesday, September 1

TRUMP VEERS OFF THE RAILS IN WILD FOX INTERVIEW President Donald Trump spouted numerous baseless conspiracy theories and attacked Black Lives Matter protesters while claiming his own supporters are peaceful demonstrators during a lengthy interview with Fox News on Monday. When asked if his supporters should confront Black Lives Matter protesters ― as they have been doing in various cities ― Trump said that should be left to law enforcement. He then proceeded to call his base “wonderful, hardworking, tremendous” people who were shocked by the violence. [HuffPost]‌

TRUMP COMPARES POLICE SHOOTING OF BLAKE WITH GOLFER WHO ‘CHOKES’ DURING PUTT The president compared the Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back seven times to a golfer who “chokes” by missing an easy putt. The shooting was caught on video and has kicked off a new wave of protests against police violence. Trump defended the police, saying they’re the ones “under siege.” “They can do 10,000 great acts … and one bad apple ― or a choker,” he said. “Y’know a choker. They choke.” [HuffPost]‌

‘PERFECT STORM’ OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE Law enforcement and other authorities used force while intervening in nearly 400 Black Lives Matter protests since police killed George Floyd in May, according to new data that paints the clearest portrait yet of the historic unrest that’s swept the country this summer. Figures from the U.S. Crisis Monitor offer a bleak forecast of escalating political violence heading into a contentious election. While most of the protests have been nonviolent, police or other authorities intervened in about 725 Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. between May 24 and Aug. 22. [HuffPost]

TRUMP DEFENDS RITTENHOUSE’S DEADLY SHOOTING President Donald Trump defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Trump supporter who fatally shot two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week. The president also blamed mounting civil unrest on “left-wing political violence.” Speaking at a White House coronavirus update, Trump called Rittenhouse’s attack at a Black Lives Matter demonstration, held days after Kenosha police wounded Jacob Blake, a Black man, an “interesting situation.” “He was trying to get away from them, I guess … and he fell,” Trump claimed, citing videos of the Rittenhouse attack. “And then they very violently attacked him.” This comes as the president prepares to visit Kenosha. [HuffPost]‌

GOP SEN. RON JOHNSON PROMOTES ‘CITIZEN SOLDIERS’ TO ‘OVERWHELM’ RIOTERS Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said that “citizen soldiers” should mobilize to “overwhelm rioters” on the streets of America. As for the fatal shooting of protesters in Kenosha last week, he said in a CNN interview Sunday: “Two people died because citizens took matters into their own hands. I’m not for vigilantism; I’m not sure that’s what was happening.” Johnson declared that “the way you stop the violence, the way you stop the rioting, is you surge manpower and resources, citizen soldiers, National Guard, and you overwhelm the number of rioters.” [HuffPost]‌

SCALISE DEFENDS USE OF ALTERED BIDEN VIDEO Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) defended using a video from the Democratic National Convention which was edited deceptively to make it appear as if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he supported defunding police departments — which Biden does not. During an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Scalise said that the video “shouldn’t have been edited” but claimed that the message of the doctored video was still accurate. [HuffPost]

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