US President Donald Trump slammed protesters who demonstrated outside the White House on Thursday as he delivered his speech, sounding horns that could at times be heard by the speech attendees.

US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire, US, August 28, 2020.
US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire, US, August 28, 2020. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump has branded as "thugs" people who protested in Washington on Thursday night as he gave his presidential nomination acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention from the White House.

Addressing supporters in New Hampshire on Friday, Trump said people attending his speech at the White House "walked out to a bunch of thugs ... That wasn't friendly protesters. They were thugs."

Anti-Trump protesters demonstrated outside the White House as Trump delivered his speech, sounding horns that could at times be heard by the speech attendees.

READ MORE: Thousands march in US capital against racial injustice

Anti-racism protests

Like many other US cities, Washington and the streets near the White House have witnessed frequent demonstrations against police brutality and racism since George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

This week, Kenosha, Wisconsin, was swept by civil unrest and violence after police there shot and wounded a Black man, Jacob Blake, in front of three of his children.

Trump, who is casting himself as a law-and-order candidate in his bid for re-election in November, has called for a forceful crackdown on the protests.

On Thursday night, a crowd of protesters swarmed Republican Senator Rand Paul as he departed the White House after listening to Trump's speech.

Video posted online shows a crowd surrounding Paul and his wife and the police. One man yells repeatedly, "say her name," a reference to Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed by police in March in Kentucky, the state that Paul represents. At no point does it show Paul being physically attacked.

Trump praised Washington police for protecting Paul, but criticised the city's Democratic mayor, Muriel Bowser, for what he said were "bad instructions" she gave to the police. 

NBA protest will 'destroy' basketball

Trump said that what he viewed as political activity by the National Basketball Association would destroy the sport.

"I think what they're doing to the NBA, in particular, is gonna destroy basketball," Trump told reporters on Air Force One. He said it would be "threatening" to the NBA.

NBA players halted play for three days in a protest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The league and players association said on Friday that playoffs would resume on Saturday in a deal that includes increased access to voting in the US presidential election.

Trump said people did not want to be confronted with politics when watching sports.

“It’s very bad for the NBA, and it’s gonna prove to be very bad for football," he said.

READ MORE: NBA postpones schedule after Bucks boycott over Jacob Blake shooting

Source: TRTWorld and agencies