President Donald Trump on Monday lashed out at governors during a White House video conference, telling them that “most of you are weak” after states grappled with another night of anger and unrest following the killing of George Floyd last week.
According to a source on the call, Trump was “annoyed” with the governors for their response to the protests and urged law enforcement to crack down and make more arrests. “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,” Trump said, according to the source.
Trump was described by one person on the call as “losing it,” with another saying the president called the governors “fools” and expressed anger with Democratic mayors in particular over the protests and unrest ravaging cities nationwide.
Trump said that other countries watching the situation unfold think Americans are pushovers.
“You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time,” the president said, according to a person listening in.
The president also called the initial response in Minneapolis “weak and pathetic” and said that protestors have likely spread out to other cities. The person said Trump seemed obsessed with “antifa,” or anti-fascists, and Occupy Wall Street, which he said was handled well by comparison and “just went away one day.”
During the call, Trump claimed to have intelligence showing who the “bad actors” and professional instigators are, though he did not elaborate.
Trump also asked states to enact laws against flag burning in what the source described it as “a rant.”
The White House billed the event as a “video teleconference with governors, law enforcement, and national security officials on keeping American communities safe.”