Did Donald Trump Mock ‘I Can’t Breathe’?

On Saturday, former chair of the super-PAC Democratic Coalition Jon Cooper claimed that Trump was mocking “I can’t breathe,” a rallying cry of protesters of police brutality based on some of the last words of George Floyd and Eric Garner before him. Cooper’s now-deleted tweet featured a video of Trump at a rally pretending to gasp for breath and crying “I can’t breathe.”

Trump has not held a rally since early March, when he canceled public gatherings for his campaign due to concerns about coronavirus. The video in question comes, in fact, from a February 20 rally held in Colorado Springs. During the rally, Trump mocked former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his performance at a recent Democratic debate, saying that Bloomberg “choked.” Trump then pretended to be Bloomberg “choking” on-stage.

The video of Trump saying “I can’t breathe” was filmed well before the current protests and was mocking Bloomberg, not, as Cooper claimed, Floyd or any protesters.

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Photograph of Donald Trump at a February 20 rally mocking Michael Bloomberg by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images. 

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