Following a week of disagreements over how to respond to the George Floyd protests in the nation's capital -- with Mayor Muriel Bowser ordering a "Black Lives Matter" mural painted on a street leading to the White House -- she said Sunday that President Donald Trump's actions and comments ultimately spurred more people to show up to demonstrate in Washington on Saturday.
"What Americans saw was federal police forces tear gassing peaceful Americans -- and how they responded made clear to the president that Americans would exercise their First Amendment rights and they will do it peacefully," Bowser said on ABC's "This Week."
She told Co-anchor Martha Raddatz, "What (Trump) actually did -- as you saw for the remaining days -- was turn out more people and more people who were there for peaceful protests."
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tells @MarthaRaddatz the federal response to George Floyd protests and Trump's rhetoric encouraged more people to demonstrate: "What he actually did … was turn out more people and more people who were there for peaceful protests." https://t.co/5LnuhcnzxG pic.twitter.com/gHPH2o83R0— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 7, 2020
Earlier this week, Trump called Bowser, "grossly incompetent" on Twitter after some of the protests grew destructive. The mayor, in turn, wrote to the president asking for the "extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" to be removed from the city and she asked several state governors to remove their state National Guard troops from Washington as well.
After Bowser's appearance on "This Week," the president tweeted that he had ordered the National Guard to withdraw from Washington, "now that everything is under control."
JUST IN: Pres. Trump says he has ordered the withdrawal of the National Guard in Washington, D.C, "now that everything is under perfect control."June 7, 2020
On Thursday, city workers painted the bright yellow "Black Lives Matter" mural near the White House and she renamed the area, "Black Lives Matter Plaza."
"Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history," the group posted on Twitter. "This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police."
As the crowds dispersed Saturday in Washington, an addition to the city's mural was revealed. Next to the, "Black Lives Matter" mural, protesters added "Defund the Police" in yellow on 16th Street in front of the White House.
"Well, it's not a part of the mural and we certainly encourage expression, but we are using the city streets for the city art," Bowser said.
When pressed by Raddatz about whether the city would remove the protesters' new addition to the mural, Bowser only said she hadn't had the opportunity to review it.