WASHINGTON – President  Trump invoked George Floyd’s name during a free-wheeling speech Friday about this month’s incremental employment numbers, musing that the dead black man is “looking down” from heaven at what “a great day” it is in America.

Skipping from topic to topic with few segues, Trump made the reference to Floyd while professing the need for “equal justice under the law” after having spent 20 minutes raving about a new Labor Department report showing that the national unemployment rate dropped from 14.7 percent to 13.3 percent in May.

“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing happening for our country.’ A great day for him, a great day for everybody,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. “This is a great day for everybody. This is a great day in terms of equality. It’s really what the Constitution requires.”

Directly before delving into his soliloquy about Floyd, Trump had reiterated his demand for New York to call in the National Guard to crack down on the protests that have erupted over the black man’s death at the hand of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

“New York, I mean, you see what’s going on there,” Trump said. “You have to dominate the streets, you can’t let what’s happening happen. It’s called dominate the streets – you can’t let that happen in New York, where they’re breaking into stores and all of the things.”

Then, immediately after his Floyd reference, Trump went right back to touting the jobs report, claiming the U.S. will become the world’s “dominant economy.”

Democrats were aghast by Trump’s invocation of Floyd’s name.

“George Floyd’s last words, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’ have echoed all across this nation,” said Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. “For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd I frankly think is despicable.”

Trump’s upbeat economic assessment, meanwhile, came even as the U.S. coronavirus death toll hovered near 110,000 and millions of Americans remained out of work because of the pandemic.

The Friday jobs report surprised some economists who had expected that the unemployment rate would continue to surge and reach the highest levels since the Great Depression.

Instead, as some states have rushed to lift social distancing restrictions and reopen their economies, 2.5 million new jobs were added in May and the unemployment rate dipped by 1.4 percent, the report showed.

Still, while overall unemployment decreased, the report evinced that unemployment rates among African Americans and Hispanics continued to increase.

Asked by an African American reporter about that disparity, Trump answered dismissively.

“You are something,” the president said and waved his hand at the reporter.

As part of his long-winded remarks, Trump appeared particularly focused on his push for states to deploy National Guard soldiers to deal with protesters and marveled at how they had laid siege to Floyd’s home state after protests turned violent there.

“We did it in Minnesota,” Trump said. “They were ripping that place apart, I love it.”

After speaking nearly uninterrupted for 40 minutes, Trump left the Rose Garden without taking any questions.

Later in the day, Trump traveled to Maine, where he toured a lobster fishery and a medical supply plant that has been refitted to produce swabs for coronavirus tests.

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