Those fighting to restore the Pledge of Allegiance before St. Louis Park City Council meetings have a new ally.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet Tuesday morning, “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!”
As is the case with many of the president’s tweets, this one was collecting replies, retweets and likes by the tens of thousands.
Trump has nearly 62 million followers on Twitter, and his morning menu of topics was varied, ranging from Britain’s effort to leave the European Union to federal aid for California after the recent earthquakes. As of late Tuesday morning, his tweet about the pledge was among his most popular of the day.
The president has yet to follow up with any details about how he will fight on behalf of saying the pledge in St. Louis Park, and a White House spokesman hasn’t replied to questions concerning Trump’s interest in the dispute.
Monday night in St. Louis Park, nearly 100 often raucous protesters jammed into council chambers to urge the City Council to keep saying the pledge.
Angered that the council had voted to nix the pledge, protesters recited it several times and waved American flags as they confronted the council and called on them to resign.
No vote was taken, but two proposals were introduced to either reverse the decision or continue the discussion with involvement from the community.
In his tweet, Trump tagged @foxandfriends, the Fox News Channel’s morning show where he often gives interviews and is a dedicated viewer.
The program aired a brief report on the St. Louis Park dust-up shortly before Trump’s tweet, which included the boisterous “U-S-A” chants from pledge supporters at Monday night’s council meeting.
After the video clip, Minnesotan and Fox commentator Pete Hegseth said, “Welp, and the folks came out because they said it only takes 15 seconds, and it means a lot to us. This is America.”
The west metro suburb’s mayor and City Council have been mum so far about the debate stretching all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The City Council voted 5-0 on June 17 to do away with the pledge at most meetings, due to concern that some residents in the “increasingly diverse community” might find it unwelcoming.
Last month’s vote prompted a backlash at the local and national level, and hundreds of people called or e-mailed the city to protest. Mayor Jake Spano announced on Twitter later that week that the council would be revisiting its decision.
The president has stirred up passions before on Twitter in connection with this part of the Twin Cities, which is represented in Congress by Rep. Ilhan Omar.
In April, he tweeted “We will never forget” in all capital letters and included a short video that started with Omar speaking before a Council on American-Islamic Relations gathering followed by footage of the terror attack on the World Trade Center.
Omar said she saw a spike in death threats against her in the wake of that tweet.
As for Trump posting a tweet directly addressing a dispute inside her district, Omar spokeswoman Laura Salas said, “Unfortunately, the congresswoman is not available for this.”