By KATHERINE FAULDERS, JOHN SANTUCCI and WILL STEAKIN, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — A potential new addition to President Trump’s future rallies: statues.
The idea has been discussed by White House and Trump campaign aides, but no final decision has been made, sources familiar with the planning told ABC News. It’s also not clear who exactly the statues would resemble, but sources say one idea was for “America’s Founding Fathers.”
The potential move comes as the president continues to condemn those who are calling for the removal of controversial monuments — a push from activists that first focused on Confederate monuments and for some has since expanded to other historical figures.
During a speech at Mount Rushmore Friday, Trump made little mention of the surge in cases in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and instead railed against the nation’s mostly peaceful protesters throughout his remarks, calling them “angry mobs,” which he says pose a “growing danger.” The president claimed that the goal of those who are removing “the heroes of 1776” is to “end America.”
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Trump said. “Their goal is not a better America. Their goal is to end America.”
The historic protests around the country calling for racial justice were sparked following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota, which has led to a nation-wide conversion about policing as well as the country’s troubled history with racism.
During Trump’s speech, he also announced an executive order establishing the “National Garden of American Heroes,” which he says will feature statues of “the greatest Americans to ever live.”
The White House released a list following the speech of more than two dozen people who could be included. In an email to supports on Monday night, President Trump asked who should go in the “garden” and where it “should be built.” Following the speech the White House released the Executive Order with a list of more than two dozen potential names, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony and Antonin Scalia.
The White House referred ABC News’ questions for this report to the Trump campaign. The campaign declined to comment.
In an interview with RealClearPolitics on Tuesday, the president reiterated his thought that “we are in a culture war.”
“If the Republicans don’t toughen up and get smart and get strong and protect our heritage and protect our country,” Trump told the publication, “I think they’re going to have a very tough election.”
The discussions of statues at rallies also come as the campaign announced changes to their operation when it comes to planning the events.
The Trump campaign on Wednesday named Max Miller, who served as deputy assistant to the president leading the advance team at the White House, as the campaign’s deputy campaign manager for presidential operations just a week after Michael Glassner, the campaign’s chief operating officer, was reassigned to focus on legal affairs in the aftermath of the Tulsa rally debacle.
Bobby Peede, who had been working with the Trump campaign advance team, will shift back over to the White House under his previous title as White house advance director, sources told ABC News.
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