President Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to thank law enforcement officials and tour property damaged in the rioting that erupted after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
But the trip served the dual purpose of allowing Trump to further blame the political left with a battleground state as his stage.
“To stop the political violence, we must also confront the radical ideology that includes this violence," Trump said at a roundtable.
The president said he doesn't believe there is systemic racism in policing.
Trump has said the officer who shot Blake seven times in the back “choked."
He has suggested the alleged vigilante who shot and killed two people in Kenosha’s violent aftermath acted in self-defense.
Joe Biden — who says it’s Trump who’s inciting violence — meanwhile sought to return the focus to the coronavirus crisis.
His campaign released a video featuring a socially distanced conversation between the Democrat and his running mate, Kamala Harris.
“I just don’t get how there’s not this more significant understanding of the incredible pain that is occurring in America and the economic chaos that’s caused from that," Biden said.
In Kenosha, Trump made repeated reference to his hometown, misrepresenting it as rife with anti-police sentiment and unchecked crime under Democratic leadership.
“Chicago could use a hand; New York could use a hand. Although I’ll tell you, if you let New York’s Finest and Chicago Police Department — they do a great job, but they’re not allowed to do their work," Trump said.
“If you look at what’s happening in New York, they allowed thousands of people out of jail in New York and they’re walking around and they’re causing nothing but problems," he added later.
The president did not speak with members of the Blake family, saying he declined because they wanted lawyers present.
At the roundtable, he said he felt "horrible" for the family.
The Blakes held a vigil, cleanup and voter registration at the site of Jacob’s shooting, offering an alternative to protesting Trump’s visit.
Justin Blake, Jacob’s uncle, denounced the president for politicizing Kenosha, but urged peace in the community.
“That fist that you put up in anger, we’re asking you to raise up higher in unity," he said.
Biden and Harris spoke with the Blakes last week.
On Wednesday, Biden is set to deliver remarks from Delaware — Biden’s home state — about school reopenings amid the pandemic.