“DOMINATE!” Trump Blasts ‘Weak’ Governors Over George Floyd Riots
President Trump on Monday blasted governors during a phone call about the George Floyd protests that have ravaged cities across the U.S. over the weekend and called most of them “weak” and urged them to get more assertive in taking back the streets.
“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time,” he told them, according to Fox News. “They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate.”
The New York Times obtained audio of the phone call between Trump and reported that Trump told these officials that throwing a rock is “like shooting a gun.”
“You have to do retribution,” he said.
Protests over the death of Floyd in police custody raged across the U.S. Cities like Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York suffered looting, arson and violence. Trump has been critical of what he saw as a soft approach in Minneapolis—the epicenter of the protests—and told the mayor there that if he did not take control of the situation, the U.S. military would take over.
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“Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,” Trump tweeted. “These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!”
The Times reported that Trump was met with some Democrats who disagreed with the strong-armed approach. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Democrat from Illinois, has been under fierce criticism over his coronavirus lockdown orders, and told the president that there is a need to call for calm.
“The rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse,” he said, according to the Times.
Trump was joined by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who said he should invoke the Insurrection Act and tap the U.S. military.
“Anarchy, rioting and looting needs to end tonight,” Cotton wrote on Twitter. “If local law enforcement is so overwhelmed and needs backup, let’s see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they’re facing off with the 101st Airborne Division.
Trump told the governors in the phone call that some are making themselves “look like fools.”
The Fox News report said that police across the country have taken at least 4,400 people into custody. Attorney General William Barr was on the call and said a joint terrorist task force would somehow track the agitators. Barr also talked about the need for the governors to “dominate” the streets and not let riots continue to fester.