Trump campaign event features viral gun-toting St. Louis couple

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who went viral last month when they brandished guns while confronting Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home, appeared at a virtual Trump campaign event on Friday night. They were interviewed by Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. and former Fox News personality who now hosts a web series for the campaign called "Making the Case," which is also the title of her 2015 memoir.

"I thought I was going to die," Mark McCloskey told Guilfoyle. Video that circulated of the June 28 demonstration showed protesters walking through an unbroken gate in the neighborhood, but McCloskey said Friday that protesters "smashed" through the gate. A photo on CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV shows the gate is now broken, but it's unclear when it was damaged.

"I thought that within seconds we'd be overrun, they'd be in the house, they'd be setting fires, they'd be killing us," Mark McCloskey told Guilfoyle. Patricia McCloskey maintains they called the police before grabbing the guns despite police stating they received no calls from the couple's street at the time of the incident, KMOV reported.

 / Credit: YouTube / Donald J. Trump
/ Credit: YouTube / Donald J. Trump

Guilfoyle also praised Patricia McCloskey for "standing by your husband, holding a gun." Patricia McCloskey later told Guilfoyle that "it's time that we not just stand behind men. We need to buck up and learn."

Police executed a search warrant last week and seized Mark McCloskey's gun. The couple's former attorney later turned over Patricia McCloskey's gun. Guilfoyle asked what they are doing to get the firearms back, and the McCloskeys responded by saying they are "relying on private security."

Guilfoyle stressed it is their "constitutional right" to have guns, and said "apparently, people are just allowed to burn down people's homes, or shoot people or kill people."

The McCloskeys have become right-wing symbols since photos and videos of them with their guns went viral, especially among gun rights activists and Republicans who have sought to portray the GOP as the party of "law and order."

Missouri Governor Mike Parson said President Trump is keeping an eye on the case, according to KMOV. During a phone call, Mr. Trump told the governor he "understands the situation in St. Louis and how out of control it is for a prosecutor to let violent criminals off and not do their job and try to attack law-abiding citizens," KMOV reported.

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri on Thursday urged Attorney General William Barr to launch a federal civil rights investigation of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, accusing her of abuse of power in her investigation of a couple who wielded guns while defending their home during a protest.

The McCloskeys have not been charged but St. Louis police applied for warrants earlier this week, KMOV reported.

Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.

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