White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has told reporters he sees no connection between the recent rash of attacks on LGBTQ community centers across the country and the Trump administration’s decision not to back transgender student rights.
Spicer made the remarks during Monday’s press briefing.
“There’s been a rash of attacks on LGBT community centers throughout the nation. Over the weekend, the community center here in D.C., Casa Ruby, was attacked and a transgender staffer was assaulted. This follows similar attacks that have taken place in recent days in Orlando, Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma. This is not unlike the anti-Semitism that the President has already denounced. Will the President also denounce these attacks?” a reporter asked.
“Sure,” Spicer responded. “I mean, I think that — I think one of the points that we’ve made in previous statements on this is that this is not the way that we as Americans solve our differences. We don’t attack each other. We don’t engage in this kind of behavior. I think we have a First Amendment that allows us to express ourselves, and that’s the appropriate way. But doing it when you’re threatening violence or destruction or vandalism is inappropriate in all of its forms.”
“Is it connected to the withdrawal of the transgender guidance, do you think?” the reporter asked, referring to the Trump administration’s decision to not back an Obama era guidance to public schools instructing them to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.
“I don’t believe there is any connection between — I think that that would be a stretch, to say the least,” he said.
While there is no reason to believe the man who has been arrested for the attack at Casa Ruby was a Trump supporter, there have been recent anti-gay incidents where the president’s name was evoked, such as an attack on a couple in Key West. They were told they were in “Trump country now” as a man ran them down on a moped.
A gay couple in Cincinatti were told to stop holding hands because, “This is Trump’s America.”
Watch Spicer’s remarks in the video below.