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

Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsSeven Senate races to watch in 2022 Demings on Florida: 'We're excited about what we're seeing' but 'taking absolutely nothing for granted' Why it's time for a majority female Cabinet MORE (D-Fla.) accused President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media 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 MaddowA vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' DC attorney general: Ivanka Trump 'highly misleading' on lawsuit deposition 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 BidenMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Facebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP 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.”