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Trump's tear gas photo-op was 'frightening' to authoritarianism experts, who warn that his behavior will only get worse without 'fierce opposition'

donald trump churchBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to deploy the military to quell nationwide unrest over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minnesota police officer knelt on his neck. 
  • As Trump made these threats, a crowd of peaceful protesters were tear-gassed outside of the White House to clear the way for the president to walk to a nearby church for a photo-op. 
  • Videos showed demonstrators being pushed, struck with batons, and tear-gassed. Democrats and critics of the president accuse him of employing authoritarian tactics. 
  • Top experts on authoritarianism and fascism said this confrontation on live TV was "frightening," and warned that the president could continue to escalate the situation if left unchallenged. 
  • Some experts say that it's too generous to label Trump an authoritarian or fascist, in the sense he doesn't have a coherent political philosophy, but they also say this doesn't make him "any less dangerous." 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
It was the type of story one might expect out of countries like China, Russia, and Iran, with well-documented human rights violations and regimes that use state-dominated media to convey the power and strength of the government and its leader.
A crowd of peaceful protesters demonstrating outside of the White House on Monday were tear-gassed and beaten to clear the way for President Donald Trump to take a photo at a nearby church. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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See Also:
  • Trump is planning to bring back his massive in-person rallies as soon as July as the pandemic rages on
  • Trump congratulates himself for the 'overwhelming force' and 'domination' law enforcement officials used against protesters in Washington, DC, and Minneapolis
  • Joe Biden calls Black Lives Matter protests a 'wake up call for our nation' and slams Trump for tear gassing peaceful demonstrators

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