THE St Louis couple who pointed their guns at BLM protesters outside their home are set to speak in support of Trump at the Republican National Convention next week.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey will appear virtually after the couple came to national attention for brandishing their firearms at racial justice protesters in June.
A Trump adviser confirmed their participation, as reported by The Washington Post.
The McCloskeys have always claimed they were protecting themselves from protesters marching on their private street after they were charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon.
The couple, both personal injury attorneys, said they feared the crowd was going to kill them and burn down their home.
They compared their house being burned down to the "storming of the Bastille."
The incident caught the attention of Trump, who accused the prosecutor that charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon of using “an extreme abuse of power.”
The charges were slammed by both Trump and Missouri Republican Governor Mike Parson who said he will likely pardon the couple.
At the time, Trump said it’s “absolutely absurd what is happening to the McCloskeys,” according to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
"When you look at St Louis and the two people coming out, they were going to be beat up badly if they were lucky – if they were lucky, okay," Trump told Townhall's Katie Pavlich.
"And the house was going to be totally ransacked and probably burned down like they were trying to burn down churches.
"And these people were standing there, never used it, and they were legal, the weapons.
"And now I understand somebody local, they want to prosecute these people," he added. "It's a disgrace."
Trump has since been critical of their treatment and has spoken out in defense of the couple.
Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a brief asking that the charges be dismissed under the state’s “castle doctrine,” which allows homeowners to protect their property with deadly force if necessary.
Schmitt called the charges “a chilling effect on Missourians’ exercising the right to self-defense.”
The demonstration on June 28 was among many in St. Louis and across the country in the nearly two months since George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.
A police report said the couple heard a commotion and saw people break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs. A protest leader, the Rev. Darryl Gray, says the gate was open and protesters didn’t damage it.
The probable statement said that after Mark McCloskey came out with his rifle, his wife emerged, yelling at protesters to “go” and pointing her gun at them.
Protesters feared “being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor,” the statement said.
Parson defended the McCloskeys.
“If you had a mob coming toward us, whether they tore down a gate or not, when they come on your property, they don’t have a right to do that in an aggressive manner,” Parson previously said on "The Sean Hannity Show" on Fox News.
A Democratic lawmaker who was at the protest said in a previous statement that no one stepped onto the McCloskeys’ property or threatened them.
“Contrary to what Gov. Parson said … on The Hannity Show, we were not some bloodthirsty, rampaging mob,” state Rep. Rasheen Aldridge said.
“We practiced peaceful civil disobedience and had the threat of violence imposed upon us. His dishonest hypocrisy about the events of that night show he has no interest actual justice, only in exploiting this situation to mobilize his base."
The formal nominations of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will take place in the Richardson Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center on Monday, August 24.
The Republican National Convention then take place between August 24 and August 27 and will be virtual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Republicans will aim to recast the story of Trump’s presidency, featuring speakers drawn from everyday life as well as cable news and the White House.
Trump is looking to shift his campaign away from being a referendum on a presidency ravaged by a pandemic and economic collapse and toward a choice between vastly different visions of America’s future.
Trump currently trails in public and private surveys as the coronavirus continues to ravage the nation’s economy and his reelection chances.
The four-day event is themed “Honoring the Great American Story,” according to four Trump campaign officials involved with the planning process.
The convention will feature prominently a number of well-known Trump supporters, including members of the Trump family, but also those whom the GOP say are members of the “silent majority” of Americans who have been aided by Trump’s policies.
Trump also appears intent on trying to seize on the nation’s cultural divides, particularly around issues of racial injustice and policing, drawing on grievances to motivate his base.
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