President Donald Trump called the death of Ahmaud Arbery a sad and horrible thing on Monday, and said he awaits the results of investigations into the shooting death of the unarmed black jogger by two white men in Georgia.
“I think it’s horrible and it’s certainly being looked at by many people – I’m speaking to many people about it,” Trump said during a news conference at the White House.
Trump added that he talked with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina – the Senate’s only black Republican – and he too was disturbed by the fatal shooting of Arbery, 25, captured on video.
Describing a photo he saw of the young victim, Trump said: “He looked – I saw the picture of him in his tuxedo, it was so beautiful – I mean he looks like a wonderful young guy. I think it’s a horrible thing.”
Trump faced criticism over the weekend for suggesting that something could have happened off-camera that contributed to the shooting in Brunswick, Georgia. “You know, it could be something that we didn’t see on tape,” Trump said during a Fox News interview.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms described the killing as a “lynching,” and said that Trump’s past rhetoric about immigrants and white supremacists emboldens racists.
Speaking Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Bottoms said: “With the rhetoric we hear coming out of the White House in so many ways, I think that many who are prone to being racist are given permission to do it in an overt way.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, David Jackson and Courtney Subramanian