Trump Attributes “Looting” Quote To Late Philly Mayor

The Insider reports:

President Donald Trump definitely picked it up somewhere: the saying, tweeted out earlier this month, that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” But in an interview today, the US president falsely attributed that quote to a “very tough mayor,” Frank Rizzo of 1970s Philadelphia, to whom he has often been compared.

Trump also contended that he was not making a threat when he posted the tweet but rather was describing an unfortunate progression.

As Fox News’ Harris Faulkner pointed out, however, the quote comes from a former Miami police chief, Walter Headley, who uttered it back in 1967 during civil-rights protests. And the intent, according to Headley, was obvious, with his saying, “We don’t mind being accused of police brutality.”

The Washington Post reports:

Sitting across from President Trump on Thursday in a one-on-one interview about the unrest over racism and police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd, Fox News host Harris Faulkner shifted the conversation to Trump’s tweets.

“You look at me, and I’m Harris on TV, but I’m a black woman. I’m a mom,” Faulkner told Trump. “You’ve talked about it, but we haven’t seen you come out and be that consoler in this instance.

“And the tweets, ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts,’ ” she continued. Faulkner, who has defended Trump against critics in the past, then paused, briefly averting her eyes before looking back at the president. “Why those words?” she asked.

Deadline reports:

Trump responded, “Well, it also comes from a very tough mayor, who might have been police commissioner at the time, but I think mayor of Philadelphia named Frank Rizzo. And he had an expression like that, but I’ve heard it may times from – I think it’s been used many times.”

He added, “It means two things – very different things. One is, if there’s looting, there’s probably going to be shooting, and that’s not as a threat, that’s really just a fact, because that’s what happens. And the other is, if there’s looting, there’s going to be shooting. They’re very different meanings.”

Rizzo died 30 years ago.