U.S. President Donald Trump looked to turn nationwide protests against racism and policy brutality to his advantage at a campaign rally in Arizona on Tuesday (June 23).
Trump's trip to Phoenix followed a disappointing turnout at a rally in Tulsa over the weekend.
The attendance to Tuesday's rally will likely be looked at closely for its crowd of several thousand would-be voters at the Dream City Church.
There, Trump vowed to prevent the quote 'left-wing mob' from pushing the U.S. into chaos.
"They're tearing down statues, desecrating monuments and purging dissenters.
It's not the behavior of a peaceful political movement.
It's the behavior of totalitarians and tyrants and people that don't love our country.
They don't love our country." The president and his advisers have largely dismissed concerns about holding campaign events even as the coronavirus continues to rage across the country.
Arizona saw a record increase of more than 3,500 new cases on Tuesday.
But at Tuesday's rally Trump turned his attention to Democrats and mail-in ballots instead.
"The Democrats are also trying to rig the election by sending out tens of millions of mail-in ballots using the China virus as the excuse for allowing people not to go to the polls." And doubled down on his usage of the term "kung flu," which many call an insensitive slur.
"It's got all different names.
The Wuhan was catching on.
Kung Flu." Trump's arrival in Arizona was also met by demonstrators, some of whom marched in a quote "free speech zone" outside the rally.
Phoenix police declared the demonstration an unlawful assembly after protesters started blocking a street.
Police in riot gear then used flash bang grenades to push the protesters away from the church, according to a Reuters photographer at the scene.
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