President Donald Trump’s campaign handed out “peaceful protester” signs to rally-goers in Winston-Salem, North Carolina Tuesday evening, the campaign confirmed to the Daily Caller.
The president told the crowd that he has “decided to call our rallies peaceful protests,” The Guardian reported Tuesday. In addition to calling the rallies “peaceful protests,” the campaign handed out signs with the phrase.
Trump is handing out signs at the rally that say Peaceful Protester pic.twitter.com/MpwdfP4UZL
— Peaceful Poso (@JackPosobiec) September 8, 2020
Trump has been outspoken regarding rioting that has occurred in various parts of the country since the death of George Floyd in May. The president accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of giving “moral aid and comfort to the vandals repeating the monstrous lie that these were peaceful protests” during a press briefing on Aug. 31. (RELATED: New Narrative: Democrats, Media Team Up To Blame Trump For Riots)
Biden, amid unrest, condemned “violence no matter who it is” during an interview with WGAL News 8 released Sept. 7. He also noted towards the end of August that “protesting brutality is a right and absolutely necessary” but “burning down communities is not protest, it’s needless violence.”
Trump elaborated on his use of the phrase Tuesday and said that it is, in part, because of maximum capacity mandates in North Carolina. Protests have been largely exempt from maximum capacity rules set by each state due to COVID-19.
“Because they have rules in these Democrat-run states that if you campaign you cannot have more than five people,” Trump said according to The Guardian, which noted gatherings in North Carolina have a maximum of 50 people and masks are necessary.
“You can’t go to church, you can’t do anything outside,” Trump continued. “If you are willing to riot, running down the main street, if you want to riot and stand on top of each other’s face and do whatever the hell you want to do, you are allowed to do that because you are considered a peaceful protester.”
Christian Datoc contributed to this report.