PROTESTS: [Reporter: “I notice you did not mention that your supporters were also in Portland this weekend, firing paintball guns at people, some form of pepper spray. So do you want to also take this chance to condemn what your supporters did in Portland?”]
“Well, I understand they had large numbers of people that were supporters, but that was a peaceful protest. And paint is not — and paint is a defensive mechanism; paint is not bullets.”
[Reporter: “It’s a paintball gun. It’s a bullet.”]
“Your supporters — your supporters — and they are your supporters, indeed — shot a young gentleman who — and killed him — not with paint, but with a bullet. And I think it’s disgraceful.
These people, they protested peacefully. They went in very peacefully. And I’ll tell you what they’re protesting: They’re protesting, when they turn on television, or read whatever they may be reading, and they see a city like Chicago, where 78 people were shot and 13 died; or a city like New York, where the crime rate has gone through the roof; or a city like Portland, where the entire city is ablaze all the time, and a mayor says, ‘We don’t want any help from the federal government.’
When these people turn that on and they see that, they say, ‘This is not our country. This is not our country.’ That was a peaceful protest, totally.”
-Donald Trump, “Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing | August 31, 2020,” whitehouse.gov, Aug. 31, 2020