Trump defends US history, blasts ‘radical left’ in ‘Salute to America’ celebration

President Trump evoked the history of American patriots who defeated Nazis, toppled communists and chased down terrorists, but warned of another threat now in today’s political climate — the “radical left.” In a Fourth of July speech at the White House in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest, Trump made a full-throated defense of America’s past and said he won’t allow an “angry mob” to tear down statues, “indoctrinate our children” or “trample” freedoms. “We are now in the process of defeating the radical left,” Trump said to hundreds at the White House lawn Independence Day celebration. “The Marxists. The anarchists. The agitators. The looters, and people who in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing.” Trump, who has railed against the “cancel culture,” refused to let the coronavirus pandemic close down a grand Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C., despite objections from local officials over rising infection rates. Four flyovers over East Coast cities, a D.C. military air show, music and fireworks took place as part of the “Salute to America” celebration to honor America’s 244th birthday Saturday. “Thanks to the courage of those patriots on July 4, 1776, the American Republic stands today as the greatest, most exceptional and most virtuous nation in the history of the world,” Trump said. Trump praised the ingenuity of American workers and lauded American heroes who defeated Nazis and dethroned fascists. But as Black Lives Matter protesters have taken to the streets in the wake of George Floyd’s death to demand racial justice — with some activists taking down Confederate statues and other relics — Trump warned of a new front that America must overcome: left-wing radicals seeking to destroy history. Trump accused the media of “slander” for sowing racial divisions and said the press dishonors the memory of soldiers “by insisting they fought for racism.” He said the country’s heritage belongs to citizens of every background, regardless of race. “Our past is not a burden to be cast away,” Trump said. “… This incredible story of American progress is the story of each generation picking up where the last one finished.” Trump paid tribute to the military and those who founded America 244 years ago, and talked of his plans to create a “national garden” of American heroes. “We will not throw away our heroes. We will honor them, and we will prove worthy of their sacrifice,” Trump said. Trump acknowledged the struggles of the coronavirus pandemic, which “goes out in one area and rears back its ugly face in another area.” He touted advancements on testing, producing ventilators, and said the U.S. will likely have a vaccine or therapeutic solution before the end of the year. He blamed China for a “cover-up” about the virus’s origin and said the country must be held accountable for spreading a global pandemic. Trump had already kicked off the Independence Day weekend with a defiant speech at Mount Rushmore Friday where he stood up to the “cancel culture” of racial justice activists and those who are trying to wipe out American history, tear down statues and defame heroes.

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