Donald Trump said that he “hated” watching the videos of the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota — incidents that sparked a wave of protests around the country.
“The two people killed in Louisiana and Minnesota: it was tough to watch,” Trump said, referencing the shootings without specifically mentioning the names of the men killed.
“I hated it. I hated watching it,” he said at a rally in Indiana tonight.
The mention of the two shootings came after Trump praised the work of police officers, and lamented the murder of five officers in Dallas, who were killed during a protest against he police-involved shootings.
“The police are not just part of our society. The police are the best of our society — remember that. We have to remember that. They represent our highest ideals, our greatest values, and our most noble characteristics,” he said.
He said that the exact causes of police shootings like the ones in Louisiana and Minnesota are unclear, they have to be fixed without attacking police.
“Every once in a while, problems will happen, and we’re going to take care of those problems… but we have to treat our police with respect,” he said.
Trump was introduced by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who gave Trump a ringing endorsement in what could be an audition for a possible spot with the real estate mogul at the top of the Republican ticket.
“Donald Trump gets it,” Pence said. “Donald Trump hears the voice of the American people.”
He went on to call Trump a “strong man” and a “good man.”
The Indiana governor is believed to be one of the finalists in Trump’s search for a running mate.
For his part, Trump asked for the crowd’s opinion.
“How’s your governor doing by the way? Good? I think so,” Trump said.
Tonight’s appearance is the latest in a series Trump has done with people who are believed to be vice presidential contenders, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Bob Corker.
Corker publicly opted out of the V.P. search the day after he and Trump appeared together in North Carolina.
ABC News has confirmed that both Christie is being vetted, and Pence associates have been told he’s under consideration for the job, a Republican source told ABC News.
The Washington Post is reporting that Gingrich is also being vetted by the Trump team. Fox News announced today that they suspended their contributor agreement with Gingrich “due to the intense media speculation about Gingrich’s potential selection as Donald Trump’s vice presidential candidate.”
Pence was not an early rider on the so-called Trump train, as he endorsed Sen. Ted Cruzahead of the Indiana state primary. He told reporters this afternoon that he may not agree with everything Trump stands for — including his suggested ban on all Muslims entering the United States — but he still supports him.
“I haven’t agreed with everyone of my Republican colleagues or Democratic colleagues on every issue. But I’m supporting Donald Trump because we need change in this country,” Pence said.