President Trump, on Monday, scolded U.S. governors over their protest handling amid the violent riots, which have broke out across the country following the death of George Floyd, calling them “weak” and recommending that they “have to arrest people”.
“Most of you are weak,” the president said. “You have to arrest people,” Fox News reported.
As reported by Fox News:
“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time,” he said, according to a senior staffer in a governor’s office who was listening to the call. “They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate.”
Trump, on the call with governors, law enforcement and national security officials, also told local leaders they “have to get much tougher” on protesters.
“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” said Trump. “We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.”
Attorney General William Barr said he wanted protesters charged with federal crimes. Barr has in recent days emphasized that it is a crime to cross state lines to engage in violence, and the administration as a whole has fixated on Antifa, a loose movement of anti-fascists, The Hill reported.
“Federal law enforcement actions will be directed at apprehending and charging the violent radical agitators who have hijacked peaceful protest and are engaged in violations of federal law,” Barr said in a statement Sunday.
The president has called for “law and order” and urged governors to activate the National Guard and crackdown more strongly on protesters. Currently, about half of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., have activated the National Guard to handle the protests, as per The Hill
CNN’s Oliver Darcy tweeted part of the audio of the the president’s phone call, in which he claimed Trump “lashes out”. It is not clear where CNN obtained the audio or by whom.
Here's the audio of that remarkable call where Trump lashes out at governors and says they need to crack down on protesters. pic.twitter.com/ANSsniYItN
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 1, 2020