Richmond, VA - Yesterday members of the National Guard, Secret Service, and other law enforcement officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang shells at peaceful protesters in front of the White House so Donald Trump could walk over to St. John's Episcopal Church for an awkward photo-op with a bible.
The violent crackdown sent a clear signal to the country: Donald Trump does not care about the issues of police brutality, systemic racism, and other injustices that so many Americans are protesting.
Republicans and Democrats condemned Trump's insensitivity and cruelty. And Virginia Democrats across the Commonwealth expressed outrage at the use of military force against peaceful demonstrators.
But there was one group who stayed firmly on the President's side: Virginia Republicans. Not one Republican leader in the General Assembly has criticized the President for his callous actions yesterday. Virginia House GOP Leader Todd Gilbert, Senate GOP Leader Tommy Norment, and the party's extremist gubernatorial candidate Amanda Chase have been silent on Trump's violent stunt. Now mired in political irrelevance, the Virginia GOP is left defending a historically destructive president.
"Americans - particularly Black Americans - are in pain right now, and are making their voices heard across the country to call for justice and change. For President Trump to not only ignore peaceful protestors, but to violently repress them in a historically Black city for the sake of a pointless photo-op is unconscionable. Yet Todd Gilbert, Tommy Norment, and other Virginia Republicans still stand by his side. Every one of them should be ashamed," said DPVA Communications Director Grant Fox.