Sep 26, 2017

Trump: "I wasn't preoccupied with the NFL"

President Trump with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump said he was not preoccupied with the NFL's national anthem protests over the weekend while Puerto Rico is still reeling from Hurricane Maria, calling his anthem tweets "an important function of working." He was asked about his focus on both issues during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy today.

The full quote: "I wasn't preoccupied with the NFL, I was ashamed with what was taking place, I think it was a very important moment…I have plenty of time on my hands, all I do is work. To be honest with you, that's an important function of working. It's called respect for our country…We are totally focused on [Puerto Rico] but at the same time it doesn't take me a long time to put out a 'wrong.'"

Other key quotes:

  • Difficulties in Puerto Rico: "It's out in the ocean, you can't just drive your trucks there from other states...This is a thing called the Atlantic Ocean. This is tough stuff."
  • North Korea: "We are totally prepared for [a military] option, not a preferred option. But if we take that option, it'll be devastating — devastating — for North Korea."
  • On Catalonia's independence: "I think Spain is a great country and it should remain united."

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

Authorities closed major roads at 5 p.m. local time in Minneapolis for the march. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck."

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Local news footage captured a tanker truck appearing to drive toward protesters at a peaceful demonstration in Minneapolis, forcing demonstrators to quickly get out of the way of the incoming vehicle on Sunday evening.

The big picture: Protests have continued across the country for six days, as demonstrators call for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other other black Americans who have died in police custody or who have been killed in racist attacks.

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").