A bizarre rant about the dangers of soup cans by US president Donald Trump has sent the internet into meltdown.
Speaking to national police groups, Mr Trump expounded on how soup cans are lethal projectiles for violent protesters during the social unrest that continues to grip a handful of US cities.
The president has sought to cast his Democratic opponents in the November election as apologists for radical left-wing anarchists who, he says, are using soup cans to sow their destruction.
“In cities across the nation, we’ve also seen police officers assaulted with bricks, rocks, bats, Molotov cocktails, frozen bottles of water,” Mr Trump said, while speaking to Mick McHale, the President of the National Associate of Police Organisations.
“And then they have cans of soup. Soup. And they throw the cans of soup. That’s better than a brick because you can’t throw a brick; it’s too heavy. But a can of soup, you can really put some power into that, right?”
To which Mr McHale replied, “yes sir”.
“And then, when they get caught, they say, ‘No, this is soup for my family’. They’re so innocent. ‘This is soup for my family.’ It’s incredible,” Mr Trump continued.
The exchange happened on July 31, but has set the internet alight after it was posted online by US journalist Christopher Ingraham this week.
Sharing the clip online, a group of anti-Trump Republicans known as The Lincoln Project said the president was “seriously unravelling”.
The former director of the US Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, labelled the exchange “delusional stuff”.
“It's worth listening to this bonkers rant about bags of soup being the weapon of choice of a mysterious strike force that, according to another Trump rant ... travels in planes wearing black uniforms. This is the level of governance in America right now. Delusional stuff,” he tweeted.
After the clip was posted online, the internet went to work spoofing the moment.
Biden: Trump ignores pandemic, stokes unrest, solves neither
Joe Biden is calling the struggle to reopen US schools amid the coronavirus a “national emergency” and accusing President Donald Trump of turning his back to stoke passions instead about unrest in America’s cities.
The Democratic presidential nominee’s broadsides came a day ahead of his own trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Biden said he wants to help “heal” a city reeling from another police shooting of a Black man.
The wounding of Jacob Blake and subsequent demonstrations have made the political battleground state a focal point for debate over police and protest violence, as well as the actions of vigilante militias.
Mr Biden assailed Trump for his vilifying of protesters as well as his handling of the pandemic that has killed nearly 190,000 Americans and crippled the national economy, leaving millions out of work, schools straining to deal with students in classrooms or at home and parents struggling to keep up.
“Where is the president? Why isn’t he working on this?,” Mr Biden asked. “We need emergency support funding for our schools — and we need it now. Mr. President, that is your job. That’s what you should be focused on — getting our kids back to school. Not whipping up fear and division — not inciting violence in our streets.”
Mr Trump answered almost immediately with his own event in North Carolina, where he continued casting the protests generally as “violent mobs here at home” that must be met with a strong show of force. “These people know one thing: strength,” he said.
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