President Donald Trump took to Twitter to weigh in on the controversial “free speech” rally that took place on Boston Common on Saturday, commending Boston police and Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
The protests to the rally — which ended early, after barely an hour — drew as many as 40,000 people to the area around Boston Common, according to Boston police.
Despite the fact that there were few arrests, and the day was largely peaceful, President Trump tweeted that there were “anti-police agitators” at the Boston events.
Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston. Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017
Trump also tweeted praise of Boston’s mayor — who has recently strongly criticized the president for his policies, actions, and words — as well as the city’s police force.
Great job by all law enforcement officers and Boston Mayor @Marty_Walsh.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017
There were some skirmishes throughout the day, but the “Boston Free Speech” rally and the counterprotests that attracted thousands did not attract the same level of violence that was seen a week earlier at a rally in Charlottesville, Va.
When Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans was asked about Trump’s tweets during a late afternoon press conference, he responded, “I’m not going to get into politics here.”
As Evans was speaking, Trump continued to tweet.
Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017
I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017
Trump was also widely mocked after posting a tweet in which he misspelled the word “heal,” typing “heel” instead.