Donald Trump stages his visit to Kenosha during the US election campaign. He also addresses the owner of a photo shop for cameras. But that’s not what the White House is spending it on.
The mayor of Kenosha really didn’t want him there. There was too much concern that the presence of the US president would aggravate the unrest. But Donald Trump came anyway to set an example for public policy. He wants to score points in the US election campaign against his opponent Joe Biden and overtake the Democrats.
In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Trump did not meet any relatives of the victims injured or killed by police brutality or racism. The US president met people whose businesses were destroyed or damaged. Numerous houses and shops were set on fire in the town, plus dozens of cars.
The protesters are very angry. African American Jacob Blake, 29, was shot in the back seven times by police in Kenosha a week ago on Sunday. Investigators said Blake had a knife in the car. The atmosphere, already very tense at the time of the “Black Lives Matter” protests, boiled over. Since then, a trail of destruction has run through the city.
But Trump, in the midst of a battle for his re-election in November, tried not to mediate between the two sides. Instead, he wanted to score with conservative voters. His message is clear: he will restore order. So he eventually sent the National Guard to Kenosha. Trump calls the rioters “terrorists.”
Donald Trump speaks to John Rode: The US president describes Rode as the owner of the burned-down photography shop. (Source: Twitter / @ TMJ4Steve)
On the spot, he spoke with the boss of a furniture store and photo shop on Tuesday. “We will help them a lot,” promised US President John Rode, who, according to the White House, owns a burned-down photography shop. Trump told the sheriffs, “These gentlemen have done a great job. You have to be strong.”
But now it turns out: John Rode apparently doesn’t own the store and the White House knew about it. At least that is reported by the American broadcaster “TMJ4 News”. The actual owner of the burned-down shop also spoke to him.
Real owner speaks out
The real owner is called Tom Gram according to the television station. Gram reported that he had turned down a request from the White House to join the US President’s trip. Instead, former shop owner Rode was invited, who owns the property alone. Gram has been the owner for eight years since he bought the company from the Rode family. His shop burned down and, according to his own statements, rises from nothing.
Kenosha: Protesters participate in a “Black Lives Matter” march. (Source: dpa)
Why didn’t he want to meet the US president? Gram justifies it this way, “Everything he does turns into a circus and I just didn’t want to be a part of it,” he told TMJ4 News. Still, he was surprised when he saw Rode on TV with Trump. “The store is still mine.”
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Trump presented it differently in front of the cameras. “John Rode, owner of Rode’s Camera Shop,” he said. According to the report, this is not true.
“He must bring this country together”
To the delight of the White House, Rode praised the US president and his response to the turmoil on the highest notes.
Gram is anyway critical of the American president. “He needs to bring this land together instead of dividing it,” he said, referring to the chaos in the city. “There are a lot of good people in this community, and just praise for law enforcement is not what we need now.”
The American broadcaster TMJ4 has confronted the White House with an investigation into the actual owner of the company, but so far no comment has been made.