During a rambling speech in Minnesota, President Donald Trump said it was “the most beautiful thing” to watch MSNBC journalist Ali Velshi being struck in the knee with rubber bullets while he was covering a peaceful protest in Minneapolis in May.
Trump bizarrely called it “law and order” as a campaign rally crowd cheered him on Friday. Velshi was breaking no law — nor were protesters — when he was injured by police.
Trump mistakenly recounted in his tale that Velshi was painfully struck by a tear gas canister and complained afterward. “Oh my knee, oh my knee,” the president mocked.
Velshi was taken aback that Trump considered his injury “law and order.” He asked: “What law did I break while covering an entirely peaceful (yes, entirely peaceful) march?”
MSNBC also released a statement in response to Trump’s comment.
“Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy,” the network said. “When the president mocks a journalist for the injury he sustained while putting himself in harm’s way to inform the public, he endangers thousands of other journalists and undermines our freedoms.”
The Velshi slam wasn’t the only jaw-dropping comment Trump made at the rally.
He suggested that Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and two other female lawmakers of color, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), be prosecuted for “buying dresses” — but offered no details. “We’ll prosecute them, yeah, why not?” he mused.
Trump also boasted that his overwhelmingly white supporters at the rally in Bemidji (Minnesota is 84% white) have “good genes,” raising an ominous Aryan specter from the 1940s. “You have good genes, you know that, right? A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory,” Trump said.
He also claimed with absolutely no evidence that the FBI is hiding Hillary Clinton’s emails from the time she was secretary of state, and he threatened to “pull licenses” from broadcasters, which he doesn’t have the power to do.
He also praised “great” Gen. Robert E. Lee, who battled to separate the Confederacy from the U.S. government to maintain slavery.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 18, 2020