Following the killing of three Baton Rouge police officers on Sunday, President Obama gave a news conference where he offered his full-throated support for law enforcement and urged Americans to “focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further.”
On Monday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reacted to Obama’s remarks by suggesting the president wasn’t being sincere and has a secret anti-police agenda.
“I watch the president and sometimes the words are okay, but you just look at the body language, there’s something going on,” Trump said. “Look, there’s something going on. And, the words are not often okay, by the way.”
Pressed by one of the hosts about what exactly he meant, Trump said “there’s just bad feeling. And a lot of bad feeling about him. I see it too. There’s a lot of bad feeling about him. We have a country that has not been like this since I can remember it.”
With regard to the “bad feeling” Trump mentions, recent polling actually indicates Obama’s approval rating is above 50 percent and at its highest level since the killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2011. But a separate poll about race relations found that 63 percent of Americans view them as “generally bad,” with 55 percent saying they’re “getting worse.”
Trump’s latest cryptic comments about Obama are reminiscent of what he said about the president’s response to last month’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. During another Fox & Friends appearance, Trump said Obama is either “not smart” or “has something else in mind” — the implication being that Obama secretly supports ISIS.
“The something else in mind, people can’t believe it,” Trump said. “There is something going on. It’s incredible.”
On Sunday, Trump wasted no time politicizing the violence in Baton Rouge, blaming the shootings on “a lack of leadership” even before information about the shooter and his motivations emerged.
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President Obama just had a news conference, but he doesn't have a clue. Our country is a divided crime scene, and it will only get worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2016
Meanwhile, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton released a statement echoing the measured sentiment expressed by Obama.
“Today’s devastating assault on police officers in Baton Rouge is an assault on all of us,” Clinton said. “There is no justification for violence, for hate, for attacks on men and women who put their lives on the line every day in service of our families and communities.”