President Donald Trump urged the nation’s governors to get tough on civil unrest across the country on Monday, and said most of them looked “weak,” according to a CBS News report.
“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time,” Trump said. “They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate.”
Trump spoke on a call with the nation’s governors on Monday morning, following a weekend of nationwide protests and looting in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Washington Post published full audio of the call.
Trump took particular note of the situation in Los Angeles, saying he had heard from a friend that storefronts had been smashed.
“They’re all broken and gone,” he said. “The merchandise is gone. It’s a shame. It didn’t look as bad as that to me — maybe it was the sunshine, I don’t know. But in Los Angeles, the storefronts are gone. Philadelphia’s a mess. Philadelphia — what happened there is horrible.”
Trump has not been seen in public since Saturday, and does not have any scheduled public appearances on Monday. According to several media reports, he was moved to a bunker on Friday night as the protests encroached on the White House.
Trump encouraged the governors to prosecute looters.
“I saw it —- a kid has a lot of stuff, he puts it in the back of a brand new car and drives off. You have every one of these guys on tape. Why aren’t you prosecuting them? Now, the harder you are, the tougher you are, the less likely you’re going to be hit,” he said, according to the report. “It’s happened numerous times. And the only time it’s successful is when you’re weak. And most of you are weak.”
Trump also noted the situation in Washington, D.C., saying the city is “under very good control, but we’re going to have it under much more control.”
Protesters set fires within blocks of the White House on Sunday night, defying an order to stay home. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has imposed a 7 p.m. curfew for Monday and Tuesday.