Former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer compared Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) movement to the Confederacy on Thursday, saying the only feature that differentiated the two was slavery.
Ari Fleischer condemned the 'Capitol Hill Occupied Protest' in Seattle, telling Fox News on Thursday: "Frankly, at a time when we're debating Confederate statues, I don't know what the difference is between the Confederacy and CHOP, other than slavery." pic.twitter.com/ZwGCkFpmrX
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 2, 2020
“Frankly, at a time when we’re debating Confederate statues, I don’t know what the difference is between the Confederacy and CHOP, other than slavery,” Fleischer said on Fox News, where he is a contributor. “They are both secessionist movements. What happened in Seattle should be condemned as secessionism.”
Fleischer, who also said that “mayhem, anarchy will be the order” in places where public officials refuse to stand up to protesters echoes the sentiments of President Trump, who has repeatedly called for law and order in the area and on June 10 tweeted that the protesters were “Domestic Terrorists.”
In a Monday morning tweet, Trump referred to the group as “Seattle looters, Agitators, and Anarchists.”
“They have ZERO respect for Government,” Trump wrote.
Fleischer’s remarks come after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan directed police to clear demonstrators from the sit-in protest follwoing a string of shooting near the area in recent days. CHOP has been operating for weeks following protests against police violence after the police killing of George Floyd over Memorial Day weekend.
The protest zone has been occupied by a mix of peaceful demonstration and violent agitation since the Police Department’s East Precinct station was boarded up and abandoned and residents were left to police themselves.
Durkan has been widely criticized and asked to resign for her handling of the protest zone.