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Asked by CBS News' Catherine Herridge on Tuesday why Black Americans are still dying at the hands of police, President Trump responded: "And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask."

Why it matters: A 2018 study found that Black men are about 3.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts.

  • A second study in 2019 found that out of every 1,000 black men in the U.S., one will likely die at the hands of police.
  • Trump claimed that "more white people" are killed by police, but white Americans comprise a larger portion of the population than Black people and other minorities.

The big picture: Trump, who has faced backlash for his response to nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, defended his attacks on the movement to take down Confederate statues and symbols by claiming that it's a "freedom of speech" issue.

What he's saying: "All I say is freedom of speech. It's very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech. Very strong views on the Confederate flag. With me, it's freedom of speech. Very simple. Like it, don't like it, it's freedom of speech."

  • "Well people love it," Trump said in response to whether he knows about the painful history of the Confederate flag. "I know people that like the Confederate flag and they're not thinking about slavery. I look at NASCAR — you go to NASCAR, you had those flags all over the place. They stopped it."
  • Asked how he would feel about supporters displaying the Confederate flag at campaign events, Trump responded: "You know, it depends on what your definition is. But I am comfortable with freedom of speech. It's very simple."

Go deeper

Updated Oct 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Protesters topple statues in "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage"

A protester stands over a toppled statue of President Theodore Roosevelt during an Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage protest in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday night. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Anti-colonization demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, pulled down statues of the late Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt ahead of the Columbus Day federal holiday, per the Oregonian.

Driving the news: Sunday night's action that also saw Oregon Historical Society's building vandalized was part of a movement that organizers called, "Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage." The protests continued elsewhere in the U.S. Monday, with monuments defaced or torn down in Chicago and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Exclusive: Biden ads court young Black men in final campaign stretch

Photo: Screengrab via YouTube/Joe Biden

The Biden campaign is releasing five ads on Tuesday targeting millennial Black men in 16 battleground states.

Why it matters: Black voters overwhelmingly prefer Democrat Joe Biden, but President Trump actually is earning more support nationally from Black men than he received in 2016 — 17%, up from 14%. Biden is pushing to halt the trend and maximize his own turnout, which could make a difference in tight contests.

Updated 31 mins ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.