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'The Rock for president!' Dwayne Johnson reignites calls for US leadership run as Hollywood superstar HAMMERS Donald Trump (VIDEO)

'The Rock for president!' Dwayne Johnson reignites calls for US leadership run as Hollywood superstar HAMMERS Donald Trump (VIDEO)
Hollywood star and ex-WWE champion Dwayne Johnson has repeated his criticism of embattled US President Donald Trump, accusing the leader of going into hiding amid widespread protests about racial divisions across the country.

The man known worldwide as "The Rock" received a tidal wave of support following his contemplative address from his home, where the actor admitted to feeling "frustrated, disappointed and angry" at seeing a country "on its knees" while widespread protests, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, continue across America and beyond.

President Trump has received fierce criticism for his hardline approach to the protests, urging police and governors to react strongly while being accused by religious leaders of using a damaged church as a "prop" for a photoshoot and being forced to deny that he had hidden in a bunker near the White House.

"Where is our compassionate leader who's going to... extend a hand and say, 'Stand up with me because I got you, I hear you'?" asked the statesmanlike ten-time WWE champion, who declared that the country was "praying for change" and offering his support to the Black Lives Matter campaign.

"The floorboards of our country are being unhinged. We must normalize equality and say the words, 'black lives matter.'

"It's that same compassionate leader who has to come back and re-address the country to give context and important perspective. You would be surprised how people in pain would respond when you say, 'I care about you, I'm listening to you.'"

Fellow WWE Hall of Fame inductee Sean Waltman – known as X-Pac in the ring – was among those offering their support for Johnson's speech, which caused many fans to encourage him to run against Trump in this year's presidential election.

"Is it too late to make you 2021 president? You really deserve it," said one, while an international supporter responded: "If I lived in America I'd absolutely want The Rock to run for president. What a man."

Others were less impressed with the former candidate and rally supporter of Trump's Republican party. "Never thought in my lifetime I would say this to The Rock but you can kick rocks, sucker," said one. "We have had enough Democratic mouthpieces."

A fellow critic wrote: "Sorry, I adore you but you were so wrong about this. You need to ask why Democrats in every major city have failed us – that is actually more of the truth than anything."

Johnson appeared to fall out with endorsers Under Armour after distancing himself from founder Kevin Plank's view that Trump was an "asset" to the country in 2017. He had previously refused to rule out a run for the 2020 presidency but has since said that the 2024 election is a realistic aim.

Praising international audiences who had shown solidarity with protestors, he told his combined social media following of more than 256 million: "I feel confident of speaking on behalf of your American brothers and sisters through our fire, smoke, debris, noise and everything we're going through right now.

"I'm not a politician and I'm not the president but I am a man and a father who cares so deeply about my family, my children, our country and every single person in it. I'm doing my best to stay focused and as calm as I can be."

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