Trump Defends Confederate Monuments in ‘Police Reform’ Speech: ‘We Must Build on Our Heritage, Not Tear it Down’

At a White House event on police reform, President Donald Trump seemed to reference the recent destruction of Confederate monuments by protesters, but again made clear he favors preserving those memorials to the pro-slavery South.

During remarks on what the White House calls his “Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities,” Trump concluded a riff on the coronavirus crisis by saying, of a potential vaccine, that “even without it, it goes away.”

“But if we had the vaccine, and we will, if we had therapeutic or cure, one thing is sort of blends into the other, it will be a fantastic day and I think that’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen very soon,” Trump added.

“Americans can achieve anything when we work together as one national family,” he continued. “To go forward we must seek cooperation not confrontation, we must build upon our heritage, not tear it down. And we must cherish the principles of America’s founding as we strive to deliver safe, beautiful, elegant justice. And liberty for all.”

Trump’s remarks in the Rose Garden were for the purpose of announcing an executive order that was prompted by nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd — a strange setting for Trump to renew his longtime defense of the Confederacy and its symbols.