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DC mayor: Federal response, Trump's rhetoric led more peaceful protesters to turn out

DC mayor: Federal response, Trump's rhetoric led more peaceful protesters to turn out
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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE's rhetoric and the federal response to protests sparked by George Floyd's death led more peaceful protesters to turn out over the weekend.

Bowser told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week” that the coverage of federal law enforcement using tear gas to disperse protesters outside the White House last week prompted more people to attend what became the biggest demonstrations the city had seen in more than a week of protests on Saturday.

“What he actually did, as you saw for the remaining days, was turn out more people and more people who were there for peaceful protests,” she said, referring to Trump. 

“People gathered at various locations and walked down to Black Lives Matter Plaza, where you saw a lot of people coming together, healing, organizing, strategizing and thinking about how to make real the frustrations that they brought with them to these demonstrations,” Bowser said.

Trump received widespread criticism after protesters were forcibly removed from Lafayette Square last Monday shortly before the president posed for photos in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church with a Bible. Officials from both parties also urged him to tone down the tweets and statements that became increasingly hostile to protesters and pushed back on his threats to use the U.S. military to quell demonstrations

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Raddatz also asked Bowser about the "Defund the Police" painting the local chapter of Black Lives Matter added to the city's "Black Lives Matter" mural on 16th Street.

The mayor said the new phrase is “not a part of the mural,” and when asked if it will be painted over, she said she hadn't had the “opportunity to review” it.