President Donald Trump hosted hundreds of supporters of the “Blexit” movement started by controversial pro-Trump commentator Candace Owens by the South Portico of the White House on Saturday October 10, while still recovering from coronavirus.
Trump’s speech was brief, covering his usual topics: He claimed that coronavirus is “disappearing” in the United States and that Democrats offered minority communities nothing but “calamity, poverty and trouble” and made unfounded allegations of widespread vote-by-mail fraud.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump’s First Live Public Appearance Since Getting Out of the Hospital Was an Address to Blexit Supporters, Led by Candace Owens
Saturday’s event was Owens’ second high-profile visit to the White House, after Vice President Mike Pence invited her in June on the same day George Floyd was memorialized nationally after his death at police hands.
Owens is an ardent Trump supporter and often makes controversial speeches and videos decrying Black American culture and insisting that white supremacy is not a problem in the United States.
Trump, who had not been seen live since returning to the White House on Monday from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for COVID-19, thanked Owens for organizing the event, which began with a march to the White House. The purpose of the event was to highlight support for law enforcement in the Black community, according to Owens.
“Black and Latino Americans do not support the Marxist, anti-police rhetoric that has become fashionable in the media,” Owens said. “Today, thousands of us have descended upon Washington, D.C., to [back the blue]. Minorities do not belong to the left.”
Trump told the Blexit supporters,” You get it. You’re way, way ahead of many people in this country,” and received a sustained chant of, “We love you.”
“I love you too,” Trump said, before urging his supporters to vote in “the single most important election in the history of our country.”
Former Arizona police officer turned conservative commentator Brandon Tatum was also with Owens and the Blexit group. He gave a speech before the White House event, praising police, calling the idea that Black people are oppressed by law enforcement a “nasty narrative” and urging those there to vote Trump.
After the first presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden, Tatum tweeted that Fox News moderator Chris Wallace was “evil,” because he asked Trump to condemn white supremacy, because Trump had previously denounced the Ku Klux Klan. He also starred in a PragerU video in which he said that white privilege was a myth.
ABC News Reported That Many in the Group Had Their Travel & Accommodations Paid for by Blexit, While Owens Said ‘Stipends’ Were Arranged for Some
On Saturday morning, ABC News reported that Blexit and/or Owens paid for the travel and housing for attendees of the event. Owens refused to respond to ABC’s inquiries, posting her email back to a reporter on Twitter.
On Saturday, she also acknowledged on Twitter that some attendees with financial need received “stipends” to attend the event, and accused the media of “mocking” those people with their reporting.
“Um … yes. We had a small group of attendees who asked for financial help to make the event so we secured travel stipends for them,” Owens said. “Mocking people who are struggling financially is the weirdest, most elitist, Democrat flex — possibly ever.”
In her speech before Blexit supporters marched to the White House, Owens also said the media was “already working on a narrative that you guys are paid protesters to be here.”
“Yeah, right? Ridiculous,” she said. “Because they genuinely do not believe Blacks and Latinos can make decisions outside of the leftist doctrine.”
As of 3:39 p.m. Saturday, Blexit supporters were marching down a street in Washington, holding “Back the blue,” “Police lives matter” and Trump signs, per Breitbart’s live video.