Donald Trump was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Thursday for a campaign speech. He took time to address the unrest around the country in the wake of recent officer-involved shootings. Here’s what he said:
“Before going any further today, I want to address the turmoil unfolding right now in our country. And it seems to be a never-ending problem. America desperately needs unity, and it needs the spirit of togetherness, that has not only gotten us through our toughest times – because we’ve had some tough times – but which has lifted us up in the past to our greatest achievements as a nation.
“Everyday I see people of different backgrounds working together for common good, and we need to bring that spirit to every part of our country and become one American nation, united by shared values and principles as American citizens. We have to do it. And we have to respect our flag. We have to respect our flag.
“We all have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and see things through their eyes, and then get to work fixing our very wounded country. We have some real problems. And we do have a wounded country.
“Many Americans are watching the unrest in Charlotte unfolding right before their eyes on the TV screen. Others are witnessing the chaos and the violence firsthand. Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world’s leader. How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities?
“We honor and recognize the right of all Americans to peacefully assemble, protest, and demonstrate. But there is no right to engage in violent disruption or to threaten the public safety and peace of others.
“Every single American in our country is entitled to live in a safe community. The violence against our citizens and our law enforcement must be brought to a very rapid end.
“The people who will suffer the most as a result of these riots are law-abiding African-American residents who live in these communities where the crime is so rampant. It’s their jobs, housing market, schools, economic conditions that will suffer. And the first duty of government is to protect their wellbeing and safety. We have to do that.
“There is no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct. Crime and violence is an attack on the poor and will never be accepted in a Trump administration.
“Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the violent disrupter, but to make life more comfortable for the African-American parent trying to raise their kids in peace, to walk their children to school and get their children great educations. We have to cherish and protect those people.”