The White House and President Donald Trump sent out their obligatory social media messages in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday dedicated to his name Monday. But while those messages can be uplifting, reporters were curious: how was Trump actually honoring the day?
While speaking to White House counsel to the president Kellyanne Conway, reporters asked her that specific question. Her response skirted the matter altogether, and seemingly suggested that Dr. King would be against the impeachment of Trump.
“I can tell you the president is preparing for [the World Economic Forum in Davos] and agrees with many of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for, and agreed with for many years, including unity and equality,” Conway awkwardly started.
But then, her comments turned decisively harsher, targeting those who supported the impeachment of her bos:
“[Trump’s] not the one trying to tear the country apart through an impeachment process and a lack of substance that really is very shameful at this point.”
“I don’t think it was Dr. King’s vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes and misdemeanors,” Conway added, according to reporting from NBC News’ White House Correspondent Geoff Bennett. “And I think that anybody who cares about ‘and justice for all’ on today or any day of the year will appreciate the fact that the president will have a full-throttle defense on the facts.”
Here’s the full quote: pic.twitter.com/2djnz5lHVC
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 20, 2020
Invoking King in order to promote their own agenda is not something the Trump administration is unfamiliar with doing in the past.
Vice President Mike Pence, for instance, tried to use the Civil Rights leader’s message of unity in order to get Democrats to acquiesce to demands from Trump to fund his proposed border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border last year. The impasse caused a government shutdown, which most Americans viewed was of his own making.