President Donald Trump said he watched the video of the killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of two white men in Georgia, calling it “very, very disturbing” in an interview with Fox and Friends on Friday.
“I looked at a picture of that young man in a tuxedo, and I will say that looks like a really good young guy,” Trump said. “It’s a very disturbing situation to me. My heart goes out to the parents and the family and the friends.”
Arbery was shot and killed in February while jogging in a neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia, after two white men — retired law enforcement official George McMichael and his 34-year-old son, Travis — chased him and shot him dead, later claiming he matched the description of a burglary suspect.
Initially, Georgia prosecutors declined to press charges, but after video of the killing went viral earlier this week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested both men last night on charges of murder and aggrevated assault.
Asked by Fox and Friends co-anchor Brian Kilmeade what could be done to prevent the case from becoming “a racial situation,” Trump said: “Justice being done is the thing that solves that problem. It’s in the hands of the governor [Brian Kemp], and I’m sure he’ll do the right thing.”
On Thursday, Kemp made his first public comments about the shooting, calling the video “absolutely horrific” and saying he called for a probe by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation right after he watched it.
“There could be something that we didn’t see on tape,” Trump said Friday. “If you saw things went off tape and then back on tape. But it was troubling, I mean to anyone that watched it, certainly it was a disturbing or troubling video. No question about that.”
Over the course of the hour-long interview, Trump was also asked about Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive opponent in November. In doing so, Trump presented himself as a victim of the dozens of sexual harassment and assault allegations made against him.
“He’s gotta fight that battle, I’ve had false accusations many times,” Trump said. “Frankly I hope it is [a false accusation] for his sake.”
Trump was also asked about the case of Dallas salon owner Shelly Luther, whose release was ordered by the Texas Supreme Court yesterday after she was sentenced to seven days in jail and a $7,000 fine for opening her hair salon despite an order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott closing nonessential businesses.
“I thought it was terrible,” Trump said. “She’s an incredible representative for a large group of people who want to do the same thing. They want to get back to work.”
Trump then opined that other states, namely California, “could move a little quicker” in reopening their economies.
“We can’t close our country for two years. You wouldn’t have a country, our country would break,” Trump said. “We’ll have a record year next year. We have over 30 states that are very strongly coming back. We’re going to have one of the best years ever next year.”
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks during a White House National Day of Prayer Service in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)