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A Minnesota congressman asserted that Black Lives Matter and other leftist groups are not responsible for violence and rioting that plagued U.S. cities for months.
Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips argued on Fox News that accusations against BLM and other groups are simply “nonsense” that need to be put aside. He continued to make his case that “all violence” should be condemned as he discussed the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C. over the weekend.
Fox News’ Leland Vittert, prone to be rude to guests, particularly pro-Trump guests, pushed back at the Democrat’s narrative with a surprising reaction after Phillips refused to specifically condemn leftist violence.
Asking the congressman about the “pretty disturbing” incidents at Saturday’s “Million MAGA March,” in which the president’s supporters were attacked by Antifa and BLM protesters, Vittert questioned whether Phillips agreed that “the vast majority of the violence over the past six or so months that we’ve seen has been coming primarily from the left.”
(Source: Fox News)
“Anybody who looks at the facts can identify the fact that a lot of the most violent acts, a lot of the burning, wasn’t done by leftists,” Phillips said with a straight face, citing the rioting that took place in Minneapolis as an example.
“I’ve got to say Leland, it is time that we all set aside this nonsense and come to the same conclusion,” he added smugly. “This is the United States of America. People should be able to gather safely, they should be able to protest safely. It doesn’t matter your politics.”
Vittert had a visible reaction to the Democrat’s remarks and pressed him on the double standard.
“After Charlottesville, the media as well as the Democratic Party as a whole, demanded over and over that President Trump name and shame white supremacist groups, the Proud Boys, any group by name,” he said.
“Same, both sides, there was violence on both sides or any kind of normalization or equalization in the way that you’re doing it right now wasn’t acceptable. Why when Antifa and the more violent parts of Black Lives Matter are responsible for the violence that was in your city, why is it so hard for Democrats to name and shame them?” the Fox News journalist asked directly.
“What I’m trying to tell you is that I don’t believe BLM was responsible for a lot of the damage in Minneapolis,” Phillips responded.
“Let me make it clear for everybody watching, no matter your politics,” he condescendingly added. “We should condemn violence no matter where it comes from. When I see evidence, whether it’s from the left or right, I will condemn it.”
Vittert pressed the 51-year-old lawmaker again on why Democrats like himself will not openly condemn the leftist groups despite video evidence and accounts of Trump supporters being assaulted by those wearing T-shirts or other clothing signaling BLM or anti-fascist sympathies.
Antifa-BLM mobs terrorize MAGA marchers at DC hotels and restaurants, toss lit fireworks at diners https://t.co/QmC5URfBvT pic.twitter.com/bS0Y1JwLkN
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 15, 2020
Phillips deflected again and delivered a stunning defense of the rioters instead.
“People wearing Black Lives Matter shirts are trying to fight for equality. People who are wearing neo-Nazi shirts are fighting for the death of people who are not like the, That’s a big difference,” he declared.
“So they should be protected from being named and shamed, for committing violence because of what they say they represent?” a perplexed Vittert asked.
“Violence against any human being is wrong, okay? I don’t care what your politics are, there shouldn’t be burning, there shouldn’t be looting, there should never be violence against anybody no matter how hard it is for some of us to digest the rationale sometimes for peaceful protesting,” the congressman argued.
“I don’t want to see it on any side, Leland,” he added, declaring that he speaks for Democrats and Republicans with his view.
“I understand that point, but I’ll just try one more time,” the persistent Fox News host pressed, attempting once more to crack through the outrageous rhetoric by the Democrat.
“When there’s political violence on the right, there was a demand over and over for President Trump to denounce white supremacy, to denounce neo-Nazis, over and over and over again in his term,” he said. “Why isn’t it fair to demand that the left denounce, by name Antifa, and by name violent elements of Black Lives Matter?”
Yet again, Phillips gave a condescending non-answer.
“Leland, I’ll make it really clear. The president should condemn white supremacy, he should condemn neo-Nazis,” he began, drawing a laugh from the Fox News correspondent who reminded him that Trump has done so numerous times.
“The president should condemn violence, period,” Phillips said, as a clearly agitated Vittert once more directed the question that the Democrat kept avoiding.
“Democrats should condemn violence wherever it comes from,” he said before quickly veering off to claim there is no one affiliated with Antifa in the Democratic Party.
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