Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has praised Donald Trump for the “law and order” speech he gave on 1 June in response to protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Speaking in the White House rose garden, Trump said he was dispatching “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property”.
In a post on Facebook, Novoselic wrote: “Wow!!! I know many of you can’t stand him, however, Trump knocked it out of the park with this speech.”
He continued: “I agree, the president should not be sending troops into states – and he legally might not be able to anyway – nevertheless, the tone in this speech is strong and direct.”
The National Guard has deployed thousands of troops across America. However, Trump would have to invoke the 19th-century Insurrection Act to deploy armed troops. State governor approval is not required if the president determines that it has become impossible to enforce US laws or when citizens’ rights are threatened in any US state.
Novoselic alleged that the violence “appears as a leftist insurrection”, despite a lack of clarity about the left-wing antifascist group antifa’s involvement with the protests. “Imagine if so called ‘patriot militias’ were raising this kind of hell?” Novoselic wrote.
“If this were the case, left-wing people would welcome federal intervention. Most Americans want peace in their communities and President Trump spoke to this desire. Never mind the legal details that few understand – Trump said he would stop the violence and this speaks to many.”
Novoselic dismissed a fan’s query about whether this was a parody account, and said it was “certainly not a partisan echo chamber. I prefer to think for myself, thank you.”
Following backlash over his remarks, Novoselic made his Facebook page private and deactivated his Twitter account.
He offered clarification of his views in a public follow-up post on Facebook: “As an avowed independent, I don’t endorse a major party or candidate. And it feels insane to have to say this , but I don’t support fascism, and I don’t support an authoritarian state. I believe in a civilised society and that we all have to work toward that.”
Novoselic describes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist socialist moderate I-don’t know”. He has campaigned for political reform. In the 2016 election, he supported Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.