In the two weeks following the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump’s advisers worked to prepare him for the National Moment.
Some shared stories with them about their own or that of their friends with racism, which encouraged Trump to be more sympathetic.
A group of White House officials requested ideas from advocates of criminal justice reform on police reforms and suggested that the president meet with African American leaders. This week, White House officials placed the president in a room with law enforcement officials who have argued that some aspects of the police might change.
But while Trump is now considering supporting some of those reforms and tackling race and police issues in a prominent speech, his message on the subject is still mixed – in the opinion of some advisers – tainted by a hardline stance he initially adopted from protests across the country that some see as difficult to return .
In the two weeks following the start of the national protests, Trump sought to end unrest with the use of the police and overwhelming military power, and showed little interest in addressing issues of systemic racism at the heart of the protests and renewed his criticism of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. As a form of peaceful protest.
Even as he was considering revealing police reform proposals early this week, Trump and many of his top aides to racist, systematic racism have denied a police problem at all.
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