The White House on Monday denied a claim by Gov. Tim Walz that he had "spent this weekend" dissuading Trump officials from a tour of a south Minneapolis memorial to George Floyd, an unarmed Black man whose killing by police sparked days of arson and looting.
Walz's remarks came at a breakfast meeting of Minnesota delegates to the Democratic National Convention. In video streamed message, he said that he "spent this weekend trying to tell the White House why it was a really bad idea to have President Trump go down and stand at the George Floyd memorial and use it as a backdrop for his campaign and ignite the pain and the anguish we're feeling in Minnesota."
Asked about a planned tour of the Floyd memorial at 38th Street and Chicago Av. S., a White House spokesman referred to a tweet by Trump communications aide Judd Deere: "@GovTimWalz, Who did you reach out to at the White House? Nobody here heard from you. @realdonaldtrump would never use the George Floyd Memorial as a political backdrop, but he does want to hear from business owners impacted by the riots which he is doing @mspairport right now."
Ben Williamson, a top White House adviser, also denied any contact with Walz, tweeting, "Nobody in the Chief of Staff's office, or anybody in the White House for that matter, heard from Governor Walz this weekend. So this is false on multiple levels."
On his way to Mankato, Trump spoke to a group of supporters at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Though he met with business owners affected by the riots, he did not go into the city.
A Walz spokesman declined to comment on the exchange.
Kevin Diaz • 612-673-4748