Trump calls treatment of McCloskeys “a disgrace”

TheHill reports President Trump on Tuesday defended a St. Louis couple who went viral after they stood outside their home brandishing weapons as a group of protesters marched past them.

“They were going to be beat up badly if they were lucky, OK, if they were lucky,” Trump asserted in an interview at the White House with the conservative outlet Townhall.

“They were going to be beat up badly, and the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down like they tried to burn down churches,” the president continued.

“These people were standing there, never used it, and they were legal, the weapons,” Trump said. “And now I understand somebody local, they want to prosecute these people. It’s a disgrace.”

Mark and Patricia McCloskey made headlines late last month after video footage surfaced of them pointing guns at an informal Black Lives Matter protest that passed through their neighborhood en route to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson (D).

The McCloskeys, who are white, have defended their actions and argued they were standing their ground.

“I didn’t shoot anybody,” Mark McCloskey told Fox News on Monday. “I just held my ground, protecting my house, and I’m sitting here on television tonight instead of dead or putting out the smoldering embers of my home.”

McCloskey told Fox there was a “rumor” he and his wife were going to be indicted over the incident. Local authorities executed a search warrant at the home on Friday night.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this week that the McCloskeys have a history of filing lawsuits against neighbors and community members dating back to the late 1980s, when they moved into the area.

The couple reportedly filed suits over small issues, including accusing neighbors of breaking neighborhood rules by allowing an unmarried gay couple to live there and over a synagogue setting up beehives on their property to harvest honey for Rosh Hashanah celebrations.