“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate.”
The call came after a weekend filled with both peaceful protests and riots in major cities across the United States after last Monday’s death of George Floyd in the custody of former Minneapolis police officers. The president also told governors that Washington, D.C., was under control over the weekend, despite reports that the Secret Service rushed the president and others to an underground bunker near the White House amid the demonstrations outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump also insinuated the possibility of bringing in troops to help quell the growing unrest in the nation’s capital.
President Trump also encouraged the U.S. governors to arrest people, track them, and put them in jail for a significant amount of time in order to deter this type of thing from happening in the future. Then, he criticized some of those on the phone call for their responses to the protests and riots in the wake of Floyd’s death, admitting that the unrest is not great for the country.
“You’re making a mistake because you’re making yourselves look like fools. And some have done a great job. But a lot of you, it’s not — it’s not a great day for our country.”
In a tone that at least one person listening to the call described as “unhinged,” according to O’Keefe’s Twitter thread, the president reminded governors that the country has the resources to handle the unrest. He also noted that other countries throughout the world watching the videos and seeing the photos could view the U.S. as a pushover because of the violence, looting, and fires. Additionally, he encouraged governors to take a tough stance against the violence.
Over the weekend, Trump remained inside while presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took to the streets of Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday to speak with those gathered to protest police brutality and Floyd’s death along with the death of other black people at the hands of police. The president sent several tweets on Saturday and Sunday, including one on Sunday that he planned to designate ANTIFA a terrorist organization.