The president wrote “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” late Thursday following chaotic scenes in Minneapolis.
The tweet in question threatened demonstrators after a chaotic third day of protests against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Demonstrators are demanding action over the death of the 46-year-old unarmed black man after shocking video footage showed a white police officer kneeling on his neck.
Late Thursday, they took over the Minneapolis Police Department’s third precinct and set the building ablaze. Shortly after midnight, the president threatened to “start shooting” in an incendiary string of tweets.
Trump wrote: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Now, instead of showing that tweet, the site displays a disclaimer which users have to click through to be able to see what the president wrote. It states: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
It’s the first time one of the president’s tweets have been concealed by Twitter, and comes after a week in which Trump has waged war on the social media site. The president raged earlier this week when Twitter added a fact-check to one of his tweets, casting doubt on his inaccurate assertion that mail ballots would lead to widespread voting fraud.
Then, on Thursday, Trump signed an executive order aimed at removing some legal protections given to social media platforms. It urged federal regulators to crack down on companies like Twitter and to consider removing legal protections that protect them from liability for what gets posted on their platforms.