Trump slams governors as ‘weak,’ urges crackdown on protests

By JONATHAN LEMIRE, ZEKE MILLER and ALAN SUDERMAN Associated Press
Trump Ap Photo
President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, May 30, 2020, after stepping off Marine One as he returns from Kennedy Space Center for the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday derided the nation’s governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of another night of violent protests in dozens of American cities.

Trump spoke 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.

“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 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 historic park across from the White House.

Attorney General Bill Barr, who was also on the Monday call, told governors they have to “dominate” the streets and control, not react to crowds, and urged them to “go after troublemakers.”

Secret Service agents rushed President Donald Trump to a White House bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.

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