President Trump dubbed protesters at a largely peaceful demonstration in Boston "anti-police agitators" after thousands of protesters and counterprotesters showed up for a conservative "Free Speech Rally" in the city.
"Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you," Trump said on the social media platform.
Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017
Trump also praised Boston's mayor and law enforcement officers amid the protests on Twitter.
Great job by all law enforcement officers and Boston Mayor @Marty_Walsh.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017
The Boston Free Speech Coalition, the group that organized Saturday's rally, had until recently planned to include speakers with ties to white nationalism.
It has since publicly distanced itself from the racist groups that incited violence in Virginia last weekend, advising hate groups on Friday not to join their rally.
Boston officials prepared for the large crowds following the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, with hundreds of uniformed and undercover police officers working to manage growing crowds.
CNN reported eight people were arrested.
#BPD is asking individuals to refrain from throwing urine, bottles and other harmful projectiles at our officers.— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) August 19, 2017
The free speech rally was set to begin at noon, but counterprotesters began gathering around the city hours ahead of the scheduled demonstration on the Boston Common.
Police tweeted that the rally was officially over shortly after 1:30 p.m. local time.