At a rally in Florida on Wednesday, President Donald Trump laughed along with the crowd when an attendee yelled “shoot them” in regards to a remark about migrants at the border.
“When you have 15,000 people marching up and you have hundreds and hundreds of people and you have two or three border security people that are brave and great—and don’t forget we don’t let them use weapons,” Trump said at the rally in the Panhandle. “I would never do that, but how do you stop these people?”
It was then someone from the audience shouted, “Shoot them!” Trump, instead of discouraging the rhetoric, laughed, adding, “That’s only in the panhandle you can get away with that stuff.” He then paused as attendees whooped and cheered. “Only in the panhandle,” he repeated.
At his rally tonight, Trump says the government is unable to violently attack immigrants, someone in the crowd shouted "Shoot them!"— jordan (@JordanUhl) May 9, 2019
The crowd & Trump erupt in laughter & cheers. Trump says, "Only in the panhandle can you get away with that statement."pic.twitter.com/SgQd2OH9ti
The president playing into the “shoot them” comment for laughs received a lot of flak online. Critics say it warranted a more responsible response, as Trump’s comments have inspired violent and threatening behavior in the past, such as increased death threats to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and pipe-bombs being mailed to Democratic leaders and newsrooms across the country. The Panhandle rally also comes a little after the one-year anniversary of his administration announcing its family separation policy at the border, which led to thousands of migrant children being isolated from their parents.
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