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Trump condemns riots and looting in Philadelphia

Trump condemns riots and looting in Philadelphia
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President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE said Wednesday that the federal government is looking into the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia while condemning the rioting that followed his death.

“What I am witnessing is terrible and, frankly, the mayor or whoever it is that is allowing people to riot and loot and not stop them is also just a horrible thing,” Trump told reporters during a press conference at his Las Vegas hotel.

“I saw the event, everybody did. It was on television. It was a terrible event,” Trump continued. “I guess that is being looked at very strongly. The federal government is looking at it also but the rioting in Philadelphia, you have to stop it. They have to stop it. It is a local thing, as you know.”

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Trump called on the state to mobilize its National Guard to address the riots and looting, which Pennsylvania Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfPennsylvania lifting COVID-19 restrictions, but not mask mandate, on Memorial Day West Virginia governor signs bill restricting transgender athletes Lawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off MORE (D) had already done earlier Wednesday.

The president also sought to blame the unrest on Democratic-run states and cities, saying that “Republicans don’t have it” and characterizing Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE as weak on crime. He claimed at one point that police were told to “stand back” and not “do anything” to quell the riots. Trump did not say how he came to understand this but said he heard it “on very good authority.”

“This is a group that [Biden] supports. He doesn’t want to condemn them,” Trump said. “You have to condemn them, you have to be strong, you cannot have chaos like that and he will be very, very weak.”

In fact, Biden condemned the violence during an appearance in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday prior to Trump’s press conference.

"There is no excuse whatsoever for the looting and the violence. None whatsoever," Biden said outside of a polling station after voting. “I think to be able to protest is a totally legitimate, totally reasonable.”

Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot dead during a confrontation with police on Monday after officers responded to a report of an individual carrying a weapon. Video was captured of the incident.

An attorney representing the Wallace family said Tuesday that relatives had called police for an ambulance because Wallace was suffering from a mental crisis at the time.