Trump slams governors as ‘weak,’ urges crackdown on protests
- Washington District of Columbia (AP)
President Donald Trump delivered remarks in the Rose Garden Monday evening after deriding many governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on burning and stealing among some demonstrations in the aftermath of violent protests in dozens of American cities.
Trump spoke at the White House as a large group of protesters demonstrated outside ahead of a citywide curfew. Just before Trump was scheduled to speak, police fired tear gas and deployed flash bangs to disperse the protesters, who appeared to have been demonstrating peacefully. Trump spoke to governors on a video teleconference that also included law enforcement and national security officials, telling the state leaders they “have to get much tougher.”
“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”
The days of protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. The demonstrations turned violent in several cities, with people trashing stores, smashing and burning police cars and igniting fires in historic Lafayette Park across from the White House. The president urged the governors to deploy the National Guard, which he credited for helping calm the situation Sunday night in Minneapolis. He demanded that similarly tough measures be taken in cities that also experienced violence, including New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail fo