Donald Trump said "something snapped" in the ex-Minneapolis cop who kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, leading to his death and the week of protests and riots that followed.
In an interview with his former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Mr Trump said a terrible thing happened in the death of Mr Floyd.
"It was a terrible thing; it should never have happened; something snapped, I think, with the policeman, and the other three watching it were -- I guess you can't put it in the same category, but it was certainly in a very bad category," Mr Trump said.
Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd for almost nine minutes as he said "I can't breathe" and pleaded for his mother, which three other officers stood by.
All four were fired and have been charged over the death.