Donald Trump: Black Lives Matter calls for killing police

Demonstrators carry a "Black Lives Matter" banner and protest the shooting death of Philando Castile as they gather in front of the police department in St Anthony, Minnesota, U.S., July 10, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Bettcher - RTSH9S0
REUTERS

At the same time his own party broadcast the opening night of its nominating convention, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump called in to Fox News late Monday evening to address the recent incidents of violence against police officers and their connection to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Asked by Fox News host Bill O'Reilly what he would do about Black Lives Matter, Trump responded: "Well, you see them marching and you see them on occasion -- at least, I have seen it -- where they are essentially calling death to the police."

"That's not acceptable whether you like them or don't like them," he said.

Trump then proposed to "look into it very seriously."

"I have seen them marching down the street essentially calling death to the police and I think we're going to have to look into that," he said.

O'Reilly pressed Trump on whether he would ask the Justice Department to look into criminal charges against the movement.

"When you see something like that taking place -- that's really a threat, if you think about it. And when you see something like that taking place, we are going to have to perhaps talk with the Attorney General about it or do something," he said. "But, at a minimum, we're going to have to be watching because that's really bad stuff and it's happened more than once."

"Everybody is free to say what you want to say up to a point," Trump said. "But when you are calling death to police and to kill the police, essentially -- which is what they said -- that's a real problem, Bill. That's a real big problem."

Last week a there was an online petition to the White House, asking the Obama administration to officially designate Black Lives Matter a "terror group."

The "We the People" petition gathered more than 141,000 signatures, automatically prompting the White House to respond. The official response noted that "the White House plays no role in designating domestic terror organizations," and that the U.S. government does not "generate a list of domestic terror organizations."