Eric Trump Calls Black Lives Matter Protesters 'Animals'

Eric Trump branded Black Lives Matter protesters "animals" on Saturday while speaking at his father's controversial campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, adding that President Donald Trump should be re-elected to protect the "moral fabric of this country."

Eric—the president's third child and second son—was a warm-up act for the president at the BOK Center in Tulsa where the rally was held, despite warnings it was not safe to do so given the rising number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Tulsa and Oklahoma.

The president and his allies have been uncompromising in their response to the latest round of Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis last month.

The killing served as a spark for disadvantaged communities and minority groups across the U.S.—and internationally—to demand action addressing police brutality, racial inequality and systemic racism.

But the president has framed the demonstrators as "terrorists" and "anarchists," threatening that those engaging in unrest might be shot. Ahead of his Tulsa rally, the president also threatened planned local protests.

"You will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis," the president wrote on Twitter. "It will be a much different scene!"

Eric maintained the belligerent stance on Saturday at the sparsely-attended rally. "We're going to keep the moral fabric of this country," he said, standing next to wife Laura.

"Because when you watch the nonsense on TV, when you see these animals literally taking over our cities, burning down churches, this isn't America. That's not what Americans do."

Eric Trump refers to #BlackLivesMatter protesters as "animals"

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 20, 2020

There are no reports of any churches being burned down related to the Black Lives Matter protests. Eric appeared to be referring to the St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., where a small fire was set in the basement and quickly extinguished in the early days of the protests.

President Trump was criticized for posing for campaign photos outside the church holding a Bible just after peaceful protesters were cleared from nearby Lafayette Square by a violent police charge. Church leaders were among those tear-gassed by police.

Eric dismissed the protesters as "the smallest fraction of society," claiming they do not speak for the country despite polls indicating widespread national support for demonstrators.

"We have the greatest people in the world in this country," Eric said. "And they universally do not like that kind of behavior."

Saturday's rally went ahead despite coronavirus concerns and Black Lives Matter protesters staging demonstrations nearby. Attendees were asked to sign coronavirus waiver forms before the event.

Eric told Fox News before the rally that Trump supporters "want this energy. They want the spirit. They want to get out of their house." Even the administration's own coronavirus task force reportedly warned against the rally, but Eric said the event "is actually a great example of where the country wants to go."

Eric Trump, Black Lives Matter, protesters, rally
Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump address the crowd gathered at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump at the BOK Center, June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Win McNamee/Getty Images/Getty