Earlier in the afternoon, he had sounded a triumphant note about America’s position in the trade war, mentioning off-hand that “Hong Kong is not helping” China. The last time Trump tweeted about Hong Kong seems to have been during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, when he called on then-president Barack Obama to “stay out of the Hong Kong protests.

Trump’s tweets add to the confusion in messaging from the White House in recent days, with secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross saying that Hong Kong protests are an “internal matter.”

However, there is a growing chorus of support for Hong Kong from Congress.

Democratic speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi yesterday issued a statement criticizing the “escalating violence” against protesters in Hong Kong as “extremely alarming.” She pledged to rally support for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was reintroduced in June and would require the US to assess annually the level of autonomy in the city and whether it should continue enjoying its special trade status.

Other politicians who have added their voices into the mix include senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who called the Hong Kong government “vicious authoritarians.” Senators Ben Cardin of Maryland, Jim Risch of Idaho, Bob Mendenez of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Cory Gardner of Colorado have similarly expressed their support for the protesters.

The House foreign affairs committee also issued a statement yesterday (Aug. 14) that reiterated the State Department’s earlier characterization of China as a “thuggish regime,” and warned of  “universal condemnation and swift consequences” if Beijing were to carry out a military intervention in Hong Kong.

As the drumbeat of a potential People’s Liberation Army incursion has grown in recent days, so too has the number of global leaders issuing statements of concern.

On Tuesday (Aug 13), Australian prime minister Scott Morrison rejected Beijing’s description of the Hong Kong protests as showing “signs of terrorism,” and called on chief executive Carrie Lam to work towards a “peaceful and calm” resolution of the crisis. Similarly, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian both separately called for dialogue between the Hong Kong government and protesters. And on Monday (Aug. 12), Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said that he was “extremely concerned” about events in Hong Kong and urged the city’s government to address the “legitimate concerns” of citizens.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.