President Donald Trump criticized George Floyd protesters who have turned to rioting across the country Saturday, saying he would not allow them to “dominate.”
Trump made the comments at Kennedy Space Center in Florida soon after NASA and SpaceX launched American astronauts into space from American soil for the first time since 2011. While Trump critiqued the “angry mobs,” he said he stands with those who are peacefully protesting against Floyd’s death.
“We support the right of peaceful protests and we hear their pleas, but what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with the memory of George Floyd. The violence and vandalism is being led by antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses and burning down buildings,” Trump said.
“I will not allow angry mobs to dominate. It’s not going to happen,” he added. (RELATED: ‘F*** Fox News!’: Protesters Chase Fox News Reporter Outside White House)
Trump soon turned his speech back to the return of Americans to spaceflight, however. He announced that as he was speaking, astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley had arrived safely in low-Earth orbit. Their final destination is the International Space Station. (RELATED: George Floyd Protests In Washington DC Throw White House Into Brief Lockdown)
Trump went on to praise SpaceX founder Elon Musk, calling him a “great brain.” NASA and SpaceX plan to continue their partnership to bring American astronauts back to the moon and eventually be the first to land on Mars.
“Today’s launch makes clear the commercial space industry is the future,” he said.