WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump went on Twitter on Tuesday, July 9, to voice his displeasure with a decision by the city council in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, population 49,000, to discontinue reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the outset of its meetings.
"Outrage is growing in the Great State of Minnesota where our Patriots are now having to fight for the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance," Trump wrote to his nearly 62 million followers. "I will be fighting with you!"
His tweet came about 10 minutes after a segment on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" on the controversy in the left-leaning suburb of Minneapolis.
Outrage is growing in the Great State of Minnesota where our Patriots are now having to fight for the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I will be fighting with you! @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019
Protestors packed the room at a heated meeting on Monday night where council members talked about the possibility of reversing last month's decision but ultimately decided the issue needs more study, according to local reports.
In discussion before their initial vote to discontinue the pledge, council members said they thought it would help make everyone feel comfortable at their bimonthly meetings. Some suggested the pledge could intimidate new immigrants at a time of heightened political polarization.
Protesters who showed up Monday night took a different view.
"A lot of our culture is based on traditions. The Pledge of Allegiance, being patriots, is a part of that," Jack Dunn, a military veteran, told television reporters.
Tuesday was not the first time Trump has weighed in on local matters.
Shortly after he was elected in 2016, he responded to reports that a college in western Massachusetts had decided to stop flying all flags, including U.S. flags, after someone there burned one to protest his election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
On Twitter, Trump threatened the loss of citizenship or jail for those who burn the American flag, saying such protests - which the Supreme Court has declared to be free speech - should carry "consequences."
No such consequences have since been enacted into law.
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This article was written by John Wagner, a reporter for The Washington Post.
The Washington Post's Antonia Noori Farzan contributed to this report.