Donald Trump has suggested that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is discriminatory towards black people and “bad for everybody” because of its name.
The US president, who has stirred racial tensions amid months of demonstrations against systemic racism and police violence, made the comments in an interview on Monday.
Speaking with Fox News host Laura Ingraham about protests in Portland and Wisconsin last week, Mr Trump described the first time he heard the name of the movement, Black Lives Matter.
He said the group, who have been routinely attacked by president Trump amid protests, have a “terrible” name that was “discriminatory” towards black people.
He told reporter host Ingraham: “The first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter, I said, ‘that’s a terrible name. It’s so discriminatory.’
“It’s bad for Black people, it’s bad for everybody”, he added, before describing the movement’s members as “thugs”. In July he described LM murals as “denigrating”.
Speaking during a White House briefing ahead of visiting the city on Tuesday, Mr Trump said the 17-year-old was being “very violently attacked” before he allegedly opened fire on protesters.
Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, meanwhile warned Mr Trump that visiting the site of protests would “hinder our healing”.