Donald Trump has blasted “angry mobs” trying to tear down statues as he claimed protesters are attempting to “wipe out” US history in a speech to mark America’s Independence Day.
The US president addressed more than 7,000 supporters at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, with most of the crowd not wearing face masks or social distancing despite a spike in coronavirus cases in the country.
Following weeks of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody, Mr Trump criticised demonstrators who have destroyed or damaged monuments of Confederate leaders and other historical figures.
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” he said.
“Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.
The president claimed there was a “new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance” in schools, newsrooms and corporate boardrooms.