President Trump can’t be responsible for the rioting if Democratic leadership will not work with him to stop the issue, said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Tuesday.
“This crime is rising and these riots are occurring in cities with Democratic mayors and states with Democratic governors who refuse to call out the National Guard if necessary and under liberal prosecutors who refuse to press charges against any of these criminals,” Cotton told “America’s Newsroom.”
Cotton noted that if Trump evoked the Insurrection Act to send federal troops and federalized the National Guard in order to “maintain peace in places like Portland, Ore., he would have been called a fascist president.”
“What do you think those same critics would be saying? They’d be denouncing the rising tide of authoritarianism and a fascist president,” Cotton said.
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On Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden denounced the violent unrest in cities over the summer during a speech where he also accused President Trump of fomenting the violence, calling him a “president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames.”
But while Biden’s repeatedly condemned the violence and looting since the nationwide protests erupted in late May, sparked by the case of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Biden and his party were called out last week by the president and Republicans at the GOP convention for not mentioning the riots or the looting during the Democratic National Convention the previous week.
The Democratic nominee has been more forceful in recent days, with a video last week, a statement over the weekend and his Pittsburgh address all pointing to a recognition that the campaign cannot cede the issue of law and order.
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“It’s rich that they are blaming President Trump for this violence. I don’t think those were Trump supporters harassing Republicans leaving the White House last week, or harassing diners on the streets of Washington, D.C., or trying to set fire last night to the Portland mayor’s residential building,” Cotton said.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.