WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is deriding the nation’s governors as “weak” and demanding tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of more violent protests in dozens of American cities.
Trump spoke Monday to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses.
The days of protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer.
They turned violent in several cities, with looting and mayhem, and fires ignited in the park across from the White House.
On Friday, Trump derided rioters on Twitter as "thugs" and threatened to order the National Guard to shoot anyone looting in cities throughout the country. That particular tweet was hidden from Trump's timeline for violating Twitter's platform rules on "glorifying violence."
Trump addressed the ongoing protests during a speech following SpaceX's successful launch in Florida on Saturday. Trump said during that speech that he hoped the officers responsible for Floyd's death were brought to justice, but continued to deride rioters.
Trump has not made any public appearances since his Saturday speech.