“The infighting over a formal speech reflects the bigger question of how to soothe a country also grappling with a health and economic crisis.”
Melania, Ivanka and Donald Jr. are showing more compassion than Trump himself and some of his political advisers.
As protests continue to flare across the country, Trump and his top aides cannot settle on the next steps the White House should take to ease tensions after the latest death of an African American man detained by a white police officer.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been pushing for Trump to deliver a formal address to the nation to emphasize his support for law and order and police officers.
Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, along with several other top aides, argued against such a move, fearing the tone could alienate key voters ahead of the November election, including African Americans whose support the administration has been trying to court.
This infighting over a potential speech signifies a much broader question facing the White House: How can the president soothe and lead a nation at a moment when more than 100,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, another 40 million are unemployed, and protests are raging through the U.S. after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday?
The same goes for his family members
In the wake of more protests in Minneapolis, first lady Melania Trump on Friday morning offered her first public sentiments nearly four days after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.
"Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence"
"Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence," tweeted Melania. "I've seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can't stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let's focus on peace, prayers & healing."
The first lady's call for peace, not violence, is not the first time during her tenure that her messaging has directly contradicted that of her husband.
"People in Minneapolis are hurting for a reason. Justice is how we heal."
Melania Trump's Friday tweet about the events surrounding Floyd's death came minutes before a tweet from the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump, who's also a senior adviser to the President. She tweeted: "People in Minneapolis are hurting for a reason. Justice is how we heal." She added: "My heart goes out to George Floyd's family and all Americans who are hurting." The tone of her tweet also differed from the one posted hours earlier by the President.
Donald Trump Jr.
"What happened to George Floyd was disgusting. He should be alive today & I'm praying for his family,"
Another of the President's children, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted Friday morning as well. Known for his controversial, bombastic and politically charged tweets and retweets in support of his father, he appeared to express empathy for the citizens of Minneapolis and anger at Floyd's killing. "What happened to George Floyd was disgusting. He should be alive today & I'm praying for his family," he tweeted. "People are right to be angry, but there's never an excuse for the type of violent riots unfolding now. No American should ever have to watch their own community burn to the ground." Unlike the President, Donald Trump Jr. stops short of calling for action to be taken against looters.
But again, support or no support from his advisers or even the members of his family.
The Donald is The Donald!
Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.
Systemic Strategic Planning, Crisis & Reputation Management