Trump Campaign Accuses Media of Ignoring Violence, Riots Before Biden Statement

August 31, 2020 Updated: September 1, 2020

A spokesman for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign on Aug. 30 accused media outlets of refusing to acknowledge “the violence in our streets” that has rocked the nation for months, until it was addressed by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a statement on his campaign website.

Hogan Gidley said during an appearance on Fox News’s “MediaBuzz” that U.S. media has largely ignored “the death, the destruction, the looting, the rioting” for 90 days, making reference to the unrest seen in Portland, Oregon, following the police-custody death of George Floyd in May that sparked riots, arson incidents, vandalism, and anti-police sentiment.

Gidley made the remarks in response to a question from host Howard Kurtz about recent accusations made by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany that the media and Democrats are “aiding and abetting the violence” in cities across the United States.

“President Trump has offered to send in federal assets into many towns, many cities across this country. Democrat-controlled areas, those governors, those mayors refuse to let that happen,” Gidley said.

“The media complicit in that, ignored it for 90 days,” he added. “And then all of a sudden, a few days ago, Joe Biden says something about violence in our streets and it’s incredible, the media found Jesus all of a sudden on the topic.”

In his statement released Aug. 30, Biden condemned the violence in Portland—a day after right-wing protester Aaron Danielson was shot dead in the street.

“The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.”

Biden has also condemned violence sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake last week by police as they attempted to arrest Blake for violating a restraining order that stemmed from an alleged sexual assault that was filed by an ex-girlfriend.

Biden has recently come under pressure to denounce the nationwide wave of violence in the wake of Floyd’s death. Trump has said that if Biden is elected, it would lead to mass anarchy, violence, and further dismantling of police departments.

Trump also said that Democratic-run cities such as Portland and Chicago have seen a rise in crime in the wake of rioting sparked by Floyd’s death.

“Democrats must address the rioting, otherwise, they will lose in November,” CNN anchor Don Lemon said on Aug. 25. “I think Democrats are ignoring this problem, are hoping that it will go away. And it’s not going to go away.”

Responding to Biden’s statement condemning the violence in Portland, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said Aug. 30 that it’s “too little too late.”

“The left-wing militants have been at war in America’s cities for MONTHS and you’re only commenting now because the polling told you to,” he wrote on Twitter.

Trump has openly condemned the violence incited in U.S. cities since they first began, and has repeatedly accused the media and Democrats of attempting to portray rioters as peaceful protesters.

“We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!” the president wrote on Twitter in July.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.