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Piers Morgan has heavily criticised Donald Trump’s response to the protests that have erupted in response to the death of George Floyd. The death of the 46-year-old man has sparked tens-of-thousands of people to demonstrate across the country, calling for an end to racism, discrimination and police brutality. President Trump’s response to the unrest has been widely condemned by the UK broadcaster, who claims his remarks have been “escalating tensions” and risks deepening divisions within American society.
Mr Morgan, who has also been an outspoken critic of Mr Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in recent months, has urged the President to show leadership with his response to the recent wave of protests.
Writing in a column for the Daily Mail, he said: “As America faces one of the darkest hours in its history, President Trump’s done nothing but pour fuel onto the fires, stoke division not unity, and make things immeasurably worse with his shocking complacency over coronavirus and his equally shocking ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ escalation of tensions during the George Floyd crisis.”
Instead, the Good Morning Britain host urged Mr Trump to follow Meghan Markle’s example and empathise with the American people.
By backing the Duchess, who released a video yesterday commenting on the death of Mr Floyd, the broadcaster made a stark u-turn – as he is typically one of Meghan’s strongest critics.
But Mr Morgan praised the Duchess for reaching the “perfect tone” with her comments on Mr Floyd, as she recalled some of her own memories of racism.
The journalist said: “It comes to something when it falls to Meghan Markle to give the President a lesson in how to show leadership at a time like this.
“I’ve not been the Duchess of Sussex’s biggest fan, to put it mildly, but I actually thought she hit the perfect tone in her comments about George Floyd today, telling students in a video message about her own painful memories of witnessing the 1992 riots in Los Angeles after the brutal beating of Rodney King, and quoting her old teacher Ms Pollia who would tell her: ‘Always remember to put others’ needs above your own fears’.
“Meghan said: ‘You’re going to have empathy for those who don’t see the world through the same lens that you do.’
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“There, right there, is what President Trump desperately needs to understand.
“The American people are hurting. They’re hurting very badly.”
He added: “His primary duty as their president is to offer all Americans empathy and compassion and put their needs above his fears.”
Mr Morgan concluded his opinion piece by calling on Trump to “be a damn leader” and address the people from the Oval Office.
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President Trump has come under fire in recent days for threatening to send in the army to end the protests if cities failed to solve the problem themselves.
Former US Defence Secretary James Mattis accused the President of deliberately stoking divisions and warned sending in the military could increase unrest.
Writing in The Atlantic magazine, Mr Mattis said: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”
He continued: “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort.
“We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”
Commenting specifically on the threat to bring in the army, Mr Mattis said: “Never did I dream that troops… would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens.
“Militarising our response, as we witnessed in Washington DC, sets up a conflict… between the military and civilian society.”
In response to the criticism, President Trump publicly mocked his former colleague and dubbed him “the world’s most overrated General”.
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