The White House is defending President Trump's tweet that baselessly accused a 75-year-old protester who was shoved by police of being an "antifa provocateur," even as the tweet reportedly left some aides "despondent."
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared on Fox News on Wednesday, and was asked about Trump's Tuesday tweet in which he floated a conspiracy theory that 75-year-old activist Martin Gugino, who was shoved to the ground by police in Buffalo, New York, was an "antifa provocateur" and that the situation "could be a set up." Two police officers have since been charged with second-degree assault over the incident, which was captured on video that showed Gugino bleeding on the sidewalk. Trump's tweet came after watching the right-wing One America News Network.
"The president was raising questions based on a report that he saw," McEnany said. "They're questions that need to be asked. In every case, we can't jump on one side without looking at all the facts at play. This individual had some very questionable tweets."
This comes after Axios reported that former and current White House aides seemed "despondent" and "at their wits' end" over the tweet, and "one former aide remarked that it's tweets like this that make him wonder whether Trump actually wants to get re-elected." Brendan Morrow