If one twists one's head and accepts the fact that everything sounds a little, or more than a little, off, it's possible to do a straight news recap of an event like the roundtable Dallas' Gateway Church hosted for President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon.
People, notable people, like the president, the U.S. attorney general and the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said things during one of the most pivotal times in American history. It's possible to parse their words and try to form them into ideas that would be recognizable coming from a pre-2016 politician's mouth. The local and national media will attempt to do so, and you can read that version, if you want.
You can also read what the president actually said and try to make sense of it and what it says about the man who said it, the country that elected him and the crowd full of evangelicals who hung on his every word.
Here's the president of the United States in Dallas on June 11, in five quotes:
1. Here, Trump describes the aims of portions of the anti-police violence movement.
"They want to get rid of the police forces. They actually want to get rid of it. That's what they do and that's where they go. You know that, because, at the top position there's not going to be much leadership. There's not much leadership left. Instead we have to go the opposite way."
2. The president on "bad apples:"
"You always have a bad apple no matter where you go. You have bad apples, and there aren't too many of them, and I can tell you there aren't too many of them in the police department. We all know a lot of members of the police. I was listening today, a friend of mine was on, very important person, said some of the best people he's ever met are policemen, law enforcement people, and they're taking care of people that, in many cases, they've never met before and at great danger, at great risk.
"They get shot for no reason whatsoever except that they're wearing blue. They get knifed, you saw that the other night. It's a horrible thing, but there's no opportunity without safety. In Chicago, 48 people were shot and 18 people were killed in one day. Sunday, May 31. Think of that, 48 people shot, 18 people killed in one day. You don't hear about it too much."
3. Trump on fixing racism:
"We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear, but we'll make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racists or bigots. We have to get everybody together. We have to get everyone in the same path. I think pastor, if you don't do that, we have problems and we'll do that. I think we're going to do it very easily and it will go quickly and it will go very easily."
4. The president has some thoughts about Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington state:
"We're hearing things that are not even thinkable. I didn't even hear, I've never even heard before last week, it started about a week ago where I heard they want to close up all police forces. That's what their attack on a very liberal governor in the state of Washington is: 'We want the police force closed.' It's not like they want to bring a little money into something else, they want them actually closed.
"I'm thinking, what happens late at night when you make that call to 911 and there's nobody there? What do you do whether you're white, black or anybody else. You're dialing there's somebody breaking into a house. It happens to be a violent person. There are violent people around, pastor, even you would admit that, right? You want to think the best, but you have some very violent people."
5. Trump still wants to dominate the streets:
"If you're going to have to really do a job, if somebody's really bad, you're going to have to do it with real strength, real power. I said, and people didn't like the expression. I said you have to dominate the streets. You can't let that happen, what happened in New York City. The damage they've done, you have to dominate the streets, and I was criticized for that statement. I made the statement, 'We have to dominate the streets,' and they said 'Oh, that's such a terrible thing.' Well guess what, you know who dominated the streets? People you don't want to dominate the streets and look at the damage they did. So, I'll stick with that and maybe most of the people in this room, maybe all the people in this room will stick with that.
"We're doing it with compassion, if you think about it. We're dominating the streets with compassion because we're saving lives, saving businesses."
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