Donald Trump took to his usual bully pulpit of Twitter on Tuesday, threatening anyone who tries vandalizes or destroys a monument or statue with up to 10 years in prison.
People were quick to point out the hypocrisy in Trump placing more of an importance on the well-being of a statue than American lives.
The threat came as a direct response to protesters trying to pull down a statue of Andrew Jackson near the White House Monday night. Their efforts were interrupted by police who used pepper spray to force the crowd out of Lafayette Square.
CBS News notes Trump would be invoking the Veterans' Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003, which dictates that anyone who "willfully injures or destroys, or attempts to injure or destroy ...veterans' memorials" will be subjected to criminal penalties. This law applies to "any structure, plaque, statue or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States."
Trump's actions come as statues commemorating Confederate symbols continue to be taken down across the country. If Trump is adamant about jailing anyone who vandalizes a statue, especially retroactively, then there should be no issue punishing this white man who spray-painted "white lives matter" on the base of the statue of Black tennis legend Arthur Ashe in Richmond, Virginia last week.