US President Donald Trump has said that the protesters, who went violent in the aftermath of the death of African-American George Floyd, did not spare even the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Washington DC, describing the demonstrators as a "bunch of thugs".
Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after white police officer Derek Chauvin handcuffed and pinned him to the ground, and knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes while the 46-year-old from Houston gasped for breath.
His death sparked nationwide violent protests with some protesters resorting to vandalism, looting and rioting across the country, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
"You know, they started ripping down Abraham Lincoln. When they hit Lincoln, I said wait a minute. This is the man and you can do - then they hit George Washington, Thomas Jefferson. They had everybody," Trump said at a well-attended election rally in Minnesota.
He also mentioned about the statue of Gandhi in Washington DC that was vandalised by unknown miscreants at the peak of the nationwide protests.
"They even had Gandhi. All Gandhi wanted was one thing, peace. Right? We have peace. Rip down his statue. We don't like him. I don't think they have any idea what they're doing," Trump said.