The St. Louis couple who threatened Black Lives Matter and anti-racism protesters with guns as the demonstrators marched near their mansion in June are scheduled to address the virtual Republican National Convention, it has been confirmed.
A Republican sourcetold The Washington Postthat Patricia and Mark McCloskey were on the billing for next week’s event, where they are expected to declare their support for President Donald Trump.
Conservatives have praised the couple as heroes, with Trump in a seeming mark of approval retweeting a video of the confrontation in June. He also defended them in a later interview with the conservative outletinterview with the conservative outlet Townhall.
“They were going to be beat up badly and the house was going to be totally ransacked or burned down like they tried to burn down churches,” Trump said.
The protests that swept the US following the police killing of George Floyd in May have become a central issue to the 2020 election campaign.
Trump has sought to portray the protests as the work of violent anarchists and left-wing mobs, while Democrats have pledged to address the systemic racial inequality that they say underlies them.
The president has also sought to appeal to the fears of suburban Americans in what critics have alleged is a thinly disguised attempt at racist fearmongering. His actions to woo such voters includes reversing an Obama-era rule designed to tackle racial segregation.
Trump has claimed that the move places power back in the hands of local communities, and stops “low income” households swamping suburban areas.
Both themes are likely to figure prominently at the convention, as Republicans seek to energize supporters and overturn Trump’s polling deficit.