Demings: 'America is on fire' and Trump 'is walking around with gasoline'

Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsLiberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP Democrats seize on Florida pandemic response ahead of general election Progressive groups urge Biden to tap Warren as running mate MORE (D-Fla.) accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE of exacerbating tensions in the U.S. as demonstrations spread in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s "The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowTrump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record Susan Rice 'humbled and honored' by rumors Biden considering her for VP Trump touts ratings for rally, Fox News town hall: 'These are the real polls' MORE Show" discussing a Trump tweet saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Demings said that the president had demonstrated he was “unfit for the office.”

“This president has had opportunity after opportunity to rise to an occasion in this country and he’s failed every time, and yet again he’s demonstrated that he’s totally unfit for the office he holds,” Demings, who has confirmed she is on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign raised M more than Trump in the month of June RNC, Trump campaign raised 1M in June Michigan shuts down most indoor bar service in bid to prevent virus resurgence MORE's shortlist to be his 2020 White House running mate.


“As we’re going through this public health crisis with COVID-19 and as we’re certainly all watching and grieving with the Floyd family, America is on fire right now and the president of the United States is walking around with gasoline,” added Demings.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, was arrested in Minneapolis last Monday by a white police officer who pinned him face-down on the pavement with a knee on the back of his neck for several minutes despite Floyd protesting that he was unable to breathe. He was pronounced dead about 90 minutes later.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been fired and arrested on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while three other officers who were present at the scene have been fired.

“Presidents during these times are supposed to address the nation and exhibit strong leadership and be a unifier and a bridge-builder, and he’s supposed to do so in a compassionate and caring way, expressing his sympathy and empathy for the loss that has occurred, and he just cannot,” Demings, who served as Orlando’s first woman police chief, added.

“He’s incapable of rising to the occasion.”

Demings made similar comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, saying “if there was ever a time we need leadership in the White House, it is now, to help heal our nation, but I don’t know why I would ever expect the president to do something that he has never done before and we have never seen.”