Mark McCloskey said that he and his wife — who are the subject of a viral video that shows them barefoot and brandishing loaded weapons at a crowd of anti-racism protesters outside of their St. Louis mansion on Sunday — were victims of “social intimidation” and “terrorism.”
McCloskey made the comments when asked by CNN’s Chris Cuomo if any damage had been done to him or his property as demonstrators marched near his house en route to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to demand her resignation.
Earlier in the interview, Cuomo asked the personal injury attorney how it felt to become the face of political resistance to the Black Lives Matter movement. McCloskey defended his actions.
With his own counsel present, McCloskey said claims that he and wife, Patricia — who both carried loaded guns as demonstrators crossed their lawn — were intimidating are false. McCloskey argued that he and his wife were the ones who had been “assaulted” and were shaken with “imminent fear,” despite the fact that they were the ones wielding weapons at protesters.
“I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate,” McCloskey said, adding that race was not a factor in his decision to arm himself when he emerged from his mansion with his wife.
The video was retweeted and later deleted by President Trump, who has made a point of trumpeting messages that attack anti-racist protesters and invite praise from white supremacist supporters. Earlier this week he tweeted and also later deleted a video that showed one of his supporters shouting “white power!”
As he has done in a series of interviews in the past few nights, McCloskey maintained that he was “literally afraid that within seconds they would surmount the wall come into the house, kill us, burn the house down and everything that I’ve worked for and struggled for for the last 32 years.”
They were "walking down my street screaming death threats at me and threatening to burn my house and kill my dog and what rooms in my house they were going to live in after they killed me." pic.twitter.com/a8Jo7Mxlzt
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 1, 2020
Conservative commentators like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson have sympathized with that message. In a separate interview on Tuesday, Carlson described the McCloskeys as a harmless couple who asserted their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves in the face of a mob who trespassed on private property. McCloskey, grabbed at an opportunity on Carlson’s show to challenge claims that he or his wife are racists saying, “my black clients love us.”
“To call us racist is ridiculous,” McCloskey said.