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Condoleezza Rice: Trump should ‘speak in the language of unity, the language of empathy’

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday called on President Trump to address Americans in “the language of unity” amid ongoing protests over the police-involved killing of George Floyd.

“I would ask the president to first and foremost speak in the language of unity, the language of empathy. Not everyone is going to agree with any president, with this president, but you have to speak to every American, not just to those who might agree with you,” Rice, who served during the George W. Bush administration, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“I’ve heard the president talk about the resilience of Americans. I’d love to hear more of that. Twitter and tweeting are not great ways for complex thoughts, for complex messages,” she added. “When the president speaks, it needs to be from a place of thoughtfulness, from a place of having really honed the message so that it reaches all Americans.”

CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked Rice specifically about a tweet from the president that was flagged for promoting violence for including the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” which had previously been used by Miami’s police chief during the Jim Crow era.

“[H]e said that he didn’t know that historical context. And so I would say think about the historical context before you say something, because it is a deep wound,” Rice said. “Just be careful about those messages. I’m not advising the president, but if I were, I would say let’s put tweeting aside for a little bit and- and talk to us, have a conversation with us. And I think we need that. And I think he can do it.”

Rice declined to say whether she planned to vote for Trump in 2020, adding “you’ll be the first to know when I want to speak about American politics.”

Colin Powell, Rice’s predecessor as secretary of State during a period when she served as White House national security adviser, said earlier Sunday that he could “not in any way” support the president’s re-election.

Tags Black Lives Matter Colin Powell Condoleezza Rice Donald Trump George Floyd

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