Trump blasts 'left wing cultural revolution'; rails against removal of statues at Mount Rushmore

WION Web Team Washington, United States Jul 04, 2020, 10.27 AM(IST)

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend South Dakota's US Independence Day Mount Rushmore fireworks celebrations  Photograph:( Reuters )

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Speaking underneath a famed landmark that depicts four US presidents, Trump warned that the demonstrations over racial inequality in American society threatened the foundations of the US political system.

President Donald Trump on Friday railed against "angry mobs" that tried to tear down statues of Confederate leaders and other historical figures, warning thousands of supporters at Mount Rushmore that protestors were trying to erase US history.

Speaking underneath a famed landmark that depicts four US presidents, Trump warned that the demonstrations over racial inequality in American society threatened the foundations of the US political system.

"Make no mistake, this left wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American revolution," Trump said.

Also read: Trump to criticise 'cancel culture' during Mount Rushmore trip

"Our children are taught in school to hate their own country," he added.

The event drew an estimated 7,500 people, packed tightly into an amphitheater beneath the famed landmark that depicts the images of US presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Masks were offered to attendees but many did not wear them.

Trump has held three public events that have drawn thousands of supporters over the past three weeks, despite warnings from public-health officials who have urged Americans to avoid large gatherings as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country. Seven states posted a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

Trump

US President Donald Trump looks at US Navy Blue Angels aerial flypast as he and first lady Melania Trump attend South Dakota's US Independence Day Mount Rushmore fireworks celebrations at Mt. Rushmore| REUTERS

The virus has even reached Trump's inner circle. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a senior campaign official and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., tested positive in South Dakota before attending the Mount Rushmore event, according to a source familiar with the situation. Trump Jr. has tested negative, the source said.

The president has come under criticism for his "law and order" reaction to nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.

Mount Rushmore has not hosted a fireworks spectacle since 2009 because of environmental concerns. Trump advocated for a resumption of the display, and the state says the surrounding Black Hills National Forest has "gained strength" since then and that fireworks technology has advanced.

Native American protesters were arrested after blocking a road to the South Dakota landmark, according to video livestreamed on social media. They have criticized Trump's visit for increasing the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus and for celebrating U.S. independence in an area that is sacred to them.