Tim Carpenter, the openly gay Wisconsin state senator who was assaulted by protesters in Madison this week, is speaking out after President Donald Trump lied about the incident during a Fox News town hall on Thursday.
"The person they beat up was a Democrat who happened to be gay" — Trump brings up a Wisconsin politician's sexual orientation for no apparent reason at all pic.twitter.com/qCVU4eyOtr— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 26, 2020
Trump claimed during the town hall that Carpenter, a Democrat, “was probably rooting on” the protesters before they assaulted him. However, Carpenter had merely stopped to film the demonstration on his way to the state Capitol, where he planned to sign letters to constituents.
Trump also brought up Carpenter’s sexuality for no apparent reason.
Asked by an audience member what he plans to do to quell violence associated with ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Trump said during the town hall in Green Bay: “The person they beat up was a Democrat who happened to be gay and he was probably out there rooting them on or something because Democrats think it’s wonderful they’re destroying our country.”
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Carpenter responded to Trump.
“I don’t know what’s worse, the beating or having someone turn something so personal that happened to you and weaponize it against you,” Carpenter said.
“It seems like there’s a war going on — one on the far left that resorts to violence … and then you have the president of the United States coming to Wisconsin trying to further divide people and lie about what happened,” he added.
More from the Journal Sentinel: Carpenter said he hasn’t slept since the assault — which was two days ago — and said he hasn’t participated in any marches since the death of Floyd but supports legislation to curb the kind of brutality that killed Floyd. … Madison police are seeking information from the public about Carpenter’s assault, which the Milwaukee Democrat described as eight to 10 people kicking and punching him for filming their demonstrations on a public street. … On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans criticized Trump’s suggestion that Carpenter’s sexuality and political leanings meant he supported violence and destruction. “Every single GOP member should be asked to comment on this blatantly false, nasty personal attack on their colleague,” Maggie Gau, [Gov.] Evers’ chief of staff, tweeted. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, said Carpenter’s sexuality “had nothing to do with anything.” “He was the victim here, should be treated as such,” Steineke tweeted.