White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday he doesn’t think there is systemic racism across the nation’s police forces as violent protests erupt in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
“No. I don’t think there’s systemic racism,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union. “But, you know what, there are some bad apples in there, and, you know, there are some bad cops that are racist.”
He reiterated that view on ABC’s “This Week,” saying: “There are a few bad apples out there whether they’re racist or ill-trained or just vicious.”
His message clashed with that of many protesters, who argue fundamental changes are needed to reform American policing in the face of high-profile deaths of black Americans during interactions with white officers.
Protests across the country have boiled into violent riots in major cities across the country.
Mr. O’Brien scolded leftist radical militants for “crossing state lines” and burning cities. He said the president wants the FBI to look into the activities of Antifa.
“I don’t want them confused with peaceful protesters who have every right to go out to the streets,” Mr. O’Brien told ABC.
Mr. O’Brien said Mr. Trump took the issue seriously from the start, saying he was moved by the video of Mr. Floyd’s death and called on Attorney General William Barr to investigate.
“Our hearts and prayers are going out to the Floyd family,” Mr. O’Brien said. “What happened there is horrific.”
“We’re with the peaceful protesters who are demanding answers,” he added.
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