In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday, President Trump compared police officers who shoot people to golfers who “choke” in a tournament and “miss a three-foot putt.”
When discussing police officers killed on duty in recent days, the president told Ingraham “the police are under siege because of things — they can do 10,000 great acts, which is what they do, and one bad apple or a choker, you know, a choker, they choke,” Mr. Trump said.
“Shooting the guy in the back many times,” he continued, “I mean, couldn’t you have done something different? Couldn’t you have wrestled him? You know, I mean, in the meantime, he might’ve been going for a weapon and you know, there’s a whole big thing there.”
“But they choke,” the president continued. “Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt.”
“You’re not comparing it to golf because of course that’s what the media will say,” Ingraham said.
“No, I’m saying people choke,” the president responded. “People choke. And people are bad people. You have both. You have some bad people and you have — they choke. You can be a police officer for 15 years and all of a sudden you’re confronted. You’ve got a quarter of a second to make a decision. If you don’t make the decision and you’re wrong, you’re dead. People choke under those circumstances and they make a bad decision.”
Mr. Trump said there are “bad police” but also “thousands and thousands of great acts, and one bad one, and you make the evening news for weeks.”
Mr. Trump’s mention of shooting a man “in the back many times” appears to be a reference to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake was shot in the back seven times by a police officer on August 23. He survived and was hospitalized. Family attorney Benjamin Crump said last week he is now paralyzed.
The shooting sparked widespread protests, and during one demonstration in Kenosha last week, a gunman opened fire, killing two people. Mr. Trump has declined to denounce Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old White gunman charged with killing two people at the protests.
Mr. Trump suggested to reporters on Monday that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, and “probably would have been killed” himself if he hadn’t fired his gun.
The president is visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday, despite objections from local officials who have raised concerns that his visit could further heighten tensions.
The president claimed on Monday that he is not visiting Blake’s family in Kenosha because they wanted to involve their legal team, which he said was “inappropriate.”
“I may at some point do that, but they did have a lawyer that wanted to be on the phone and I said no. That’s inappropriate, but I did just give my best regards,” Mr. Trump said.
The president instead plans to survey property that was damaged in the protests and visit an “emergency operations center” at a local high school, according to the White House.
Grace Segers contributed to this report.
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