Patricia and Mark McCloskey, the couple who pointed guns at protesters passing their St Louis mansion in June are scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention next week.
The Washington Post was the first to report that the couple who have become a symbol in Trump’s racially-divisive campaign would appear at next week’s convention.
The news comes as Democrats launched the first night of their national convention on Monday with passionate remarks from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former First Lady Michelle Obama who pressed the importance of unity amid a “deeply divided” nation.
The McCloskeys drew national attention in late June after appearing in a viral video where they brandished guns outside their mansion at protesters who were marching along Portland Place, a private street, on their way to a demonstration outside of the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. At the time the couple compared the march of the protestors past their residence to the storming of Bastille.
The White House has repeatedly defended the couple. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at the time that Trump thought the case against the McCloskeys was “absolutely absurd.”
The video of the couple was retweeted and later deleted by President Trump, who has attacked anti-racism protesters and used race-baiting as a campaign tactic. In July, the President retweeted and then deleted a separate video that showed one of his supporters shouting “white power!”
Trump has since expanded his racist messaging, tweeting late last month that by repealing and replacing Obama-era policies intended to combat racial discrimination in housing “people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream” would no longer be “bothered” by low income housing in their neighborhood.
Mark McCloskey has claimed in interviews that he was “in imminent fear” of the passing protesters and the victim of “social intimidation” or “terrorism” — despite the fact that he and his wife were the ones wielding weapons.
“I was a person scared for my life, protecting my wife, my home, my hearth, my livelihood. I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate,” McCloskey said in a CNN interview.
McCloskey who is a personal injury attorney, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo at the time that it was “ridiculous” for anyone to consider him a symbol of opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming that his black clients loved him.