A Kenosha, Wisconsin, business owner is accusing President Donald Trump of using his destroyed Camera Shop for political gain after he refused to do a photo op with Trump.
Tom Gram, the owner of Rode’s Camera Shop, said he declined to do a photo op with Trump and was then surprised to see the president speaking with the former owner of the business, local outlet TMJ4 reports.
When Trump visited Kenosha on Tuesday to tour sites affected by civil unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, he surveyed Rode’s Camera Shop.
Standing next to him was a man the White House, and president, identified as the owner of the destroyed store, John Rode III.
But another man, Tom Gram, told TMJ4 that he’s actually owned the 109-year-old store for eight years — and had declined to join Trump’s photo op.
Gram is accusing Trump of using his shop for political gain and replacing him with the shop’s former owner.
“I think everything he does turns into a circus, and I just didn’t want to be involved in it,” Gram told TMJ4.
The store, which opened in 1911, was destroyed last week, Kenosha News reported. The storefront windows were smashed, and the building was looted and set on fire.
Gram told TMJ4 that neither Trump nor Rode should have used his destroyed business for a political message.
“I think he needs to bring this country together rather than divide it,” Gram said.
During the tour, Rode praised Trump’s response to the protests in the city.
“I just appreciate President Trump coming today — everybody here does,” Rode said. “We’re so thankful we got the federal troops here. Once they got here things did calm down quite a bit.”
Trump said: “A day earlier would have saved his store.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Contact information for Rode couldn’t be located.