Donald Trump is facing major backlash for how he’s handled the protests following George Floyd’s killing on May 25. Some protests outside the White House on May 29 began to turn violent. However, rather than addressing the situation, Trump reportedly hid in a bunker for nearly an hour, according to a Republican close to the White House, who has remained anonymous, per the New York Times. The report was also anonymously confirmed by an administration official.
After news of Trump’s reported stay in the bunker broke on May 31, Twitter exploded with outrage. “Hey Donnie, while you’re cowering in the bunker like Hitler did in 1945 when he knew that he was done, why not take a long at how a REAL president does it?” one person wrote, along with photos of Joe Biden speaking with various protestors. On May 31, the White House was also blacked out amidst the crisis, and someone else tweeted, “As country rages over racist police violence, the White House went dark, lights turned off. Nobody’s home. We don’t have a president. America is a failed state.”
The White House has not commented on reports that Trump has spent part of this time in a bunker, which is also known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. “The White House does not comment on security protocols and decisions,” spokesperson Judd Deere told the New York Times.
Trump has received major criticism for how he’s handled things in the aftermath of George’s murder by a white police officer, and the subsequent protests. When the protests began to get violent in Minneapolis on May 28, Trump tweeted, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control, but when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The tweet was quickly flagged by Twitter for ‘glorifying violence,’ and Americans were absolutely outraged at the message that the president sent. In the days since, tons of celebrities have spoken out against Trump and how he’s reacted to the horrific situation that has swept the nation. Over the weekend, protests have become more widespread and occurred in most major cities.