Protesters hold up posters and sing during a demonstration in Times Square denouncing racism in law enforcement and the murder of George Floyd on June 1, 2020. (Free Press Photo: .).
“This is a movement. If they don’t end it, it’s going to get worse and worse. The only time it succeeds is when you are weak, and most of you are weak, “Trump said during a phone call with the governors of the different states of the country.
“They have to arrest people, they have to judge people, they have to put them in jail for ten years and they will never see this kind of thing again,” Trump said, according to a recording of the private conversation obtained by the CBS network. News and confirmed by other means.
US Attorney General William Barr, who also participated in the call, said the Trump administration wants to file “federal charges against anyone who violates a federal law in connection with these riots,” but for that he needs the Governors disperse crowds and “control the streets.”
Meanwhile, the head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper, inserted a warlike language in the conversation, stating: “The sooner they dominate the battle space, the sooner this will dissipate.”
Trump, for his part, complained that the governors “are not using” enough of the military to quell the protests.
“They have to dominate (the protesters), if they don’t dominate them, they are wasting time. They’re going to hit you, and you’re going to look like a bunch of idiots. They have to dominate them, “Trump insisted.
The president compared the current situation with the protests against inequality on “Occupy Wall Street” in 2011, stating: “It was a disaster, until one day, someone said: enough is enough, and they went in and swept them away.”
He said that the disturbances “come from the radical left” and from “looters” who “are anarchists”, and lamented the image of “faint-hearted” that, in his opinion, the country is giving internationally: “The whole world is laughing ”.
Protesters like bowling pins
He also praised the response to the protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where police forces “pierced that (crowd) like butter,” and “knocked them down as fast as bowling pins” in a bowling alley, he said.
Minnesota was an experiment. The first part was weak and pathetic. The second part was domination ”, he sentenced.
Protesters march after the widespread unrest over the death of George Floyd on June 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Free Press Photo: .).
Trump’s words chilled some of the participants in the call, one of whom described the tone the president adopted as “unbalanced,” according to CBS News.
Minnesota Governor Democrat Tim Walz reminded Trump that Minneapolis “is mourning and suffering,” and that “peaceful protesters are expressing outrage that is real.”
The Illinois Governor, also a Democrat J. B. Pritzker, warned that “the rhetoric coming out of the White House is making things worse,” and Trump replied: “I don’t like your rhetoric either.”
The nationwide protests began after the death of African-American George Floyd a week ago in Minneapolis, after a white policeman restrained him, handcuffed, with his knee to his neck for several minutes, despite his pleas that he could not breathe .
Although the demonstrations usually begin in a peaceful environment, many of them have later led to riots and incidents with the security forces, despite the declaration of the curfew in at least forty cities in the country and the activation of the National Guard in fifteen states and in the city of Washington, the capital.
Trump’s room for maneuver in dealing with the protests is limited, due to the nature of the US federal system. and that a law of 1878 prevents him from using the federal armed forces for security and public order tasks at the national level.