President Trump vowed Wednesday to put a stop to the vandalization of monuments honoring the Confederacy and other racist structures, fretting that effigies of Jesus Christ will otherwise be next.
The source for Trump’s invocation of Jesus was unclear, but it came as anti-racist protesters across the country are tearing down statues of controversial American figures like President Andrew Jackson, who owned slaves and brutalized Native Americans.
“Now they are looking at Jesus Christ, they are looking at George Washington, Thomas Jefferson … Not going to happen, not going to happen.”
Trump pledged he would sign an executive order later this week to protect U.S. monuments and harshly punish anyone who’s caught defacing them, regardless of the statue’s depiction.
“We are going to have a very strong executive order. It will happen very quickly,” Trump said without elaborating.
It’s unclear what an executive action could do in this instance, since vandalism is already a crime.
There are no reports of people removing or demolishing figures of Jesus as part of the anti-racist protests that have erupted in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.