WASHINGTON — Air horns could clearly be heard in the background as President Donald Trump spoke to the nation about the Administration’s latest work on the COVID-19 pandemic today (Friday, May 15).
Hours earlier, the president incensed protesters when he claimed in a FOX News interview, “They’re not protesting. They’re there to support me. They love their president.” Trump made similar comments during today’s press conference, which were quickly fact-checked by news outlets.
CNN, which has, for the most part, ignored the Washington protest, decided it was newsworthy after all once the truckers’ protest provided an opportunity to criticize Trump. The organization — one that Trump has repeatedly referred to as “fake news” — posted a clip that began with the president saying, “And you hear that outside, that beautiful sound? Those are truckers that are with us all the way. They’re protesting in favor of President Trump as opposed to against. There’s hundreds of trucks out there, and that’s the sign of love, not the sign of your typical protest. So, I want to thank our great truckers. They like me and I like them. We’re working on something together.”
CNN co-host Brianna Keilar announced that she wanted to “fact-check” the president’s remarks, saying, “That’s not actually true. Anyone who’s gone down on Constitution Avenue will see that truckers are protesting for a myriad of reasons, but basically they’ve really taken a hit financially.” She went on to explain that truckers have not been recipients of government assistance, saying, “I expect that could change, though, if the president doesn’t want to continue having press events that sound like soccer games.”
Janet Sanchez, spokesperson for The Disrespected Trucker Facebook group, posted a live video in which she said, “We’re not here to support anyone.” She urged owner-operators across the nation to come to Washington to join the protest, or to at least shut down their trucks in sympathy.
In her video, Sanchez showed trucks “slow rolling” side by side down Constitution Avenue, horns blaring. Other protesters stood in the street or on sidewalks holding signs in protest of “cheap freight” or calling for “broker regulation.”
The protest in the capital is noticeably smaller since Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows addressed the group on Wednesday. After hearing from Meadows, some owner-operators felt the protest had made enough progress to continue without their presence, while others left to return to work after two unpaid weeks of protest.
In the photo above, President Donald Trump delivers remarks on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine while air horns can be heard in the background.