President Donald Trump took the podium in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, June 1, calling for an end to the "violence and destruction," and threatening to deploy the U.S. military if state governors do not put an end to the protests.
Trump's speech comes as the nation is engulfed by violence and unrest following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with his knee over his neck.
Trump Criticized over Rose Garden Speech
Trump said during his speech that If governors across the country do not deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers to "dominate the streets," the U.S. military would step in to "quickly solve the problem for them."
"Rose Garden" has now started trending on Twitter as social media users on the platform slam the president for threatening people with the use of the U.S. armed forces.
"Donald Trump is telling America in the #rosegarden to fill the street with militarized police. This is a fascist regime," wrote one user, while another commented: "Donald Trump just declared war against America. So be it. Trump will lose. In the end, America always wins. When this is over, Trump will spend the rest of his worthless life in a solitary confinement cage."
Another user pointed out that the while Trump said in his speech that he was an ally of peaceful protestors, hundreds of them were being tear-gassed just across the street from the White House in Lafayette Square.
CNN reporter and White House correspondent Jim Costa even shared footage in which tear gas explosions can be heard during Trump's speech at the Rose Garden.
Celebrities Weigh In
Trump also drew criticism from celebrities, who fired shots at the President over his Rose Garden speech. "Your raggedy white supremacist president and his cowardly enablers would rather kill everybody than stop killing black people," tweeted Issa Rae, creator of the HBO show, "Insecure."
"Trump mobilizing armed forces against our own citizens and then carefully mentioning '2nd amendment rights' which he knows will encourage civilians to turn arms on one another other," wrote singer Halsey. "Lacking any integrity or empathy. This is out of control."
"Suits" and "Jack Ryan" actor Wendell Pierce astutely pointed out that Trump was using an antiquated law last used to quell slave protests by slaves.