During a Fox News town hall event to air Thursday night, President Donald Trump told right-wing host Sean Hannity that at some point “there is going to be retribution because there has to be,” referring to demonstrators who have torn down or defaced statues and monuments.
“Every night we’re going to get tougher and tougher, and at some point there is going to be retribution because there has to be,” Trump said. “These people are vandals, but they’re agitators, but they’re really, they’re terrorists in a sense,” he added.
Trump also suggested it may be a matter of partisanship, claiming Wisconsin would not have seen unrest and a statue toppled a night earlier if Republican Scott Walker had been re-elected in 2018 over Gov. Tony Evers (D).
On Tuesday, Demonstrators in Wisconsin brought down two statues outside of the state Capitol. Trump noted that a Democratic lawmaker was attacked by protesters during the incident, though the president suggested: “he was probably out there rooting them on or something.”
He urged Republicans to worry less about being “politically correct,” and encouraged them to get tough on unruly protesters.
Trump, in a taped town hall with Sean Hannity, speaking about demonstrators who vandalize monuments: "At some point there is going to be retribution because there has to be. These people are vandals. They’re agitators, but they’re really, they’re terrorists in a sense."
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) June 25, 2020
Trump has in recent weeks dug in on his opposition to removing statues of controversial figures, citing national “heritage.”