President Donald Trump had a phone call with state governors on Monday. During this call, he urged them to take a tough stance on the protests and riots happening across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day while in the custody of four former Minneapolis police officers. However, at least one governor called out the president for the rhetoric coming out of the White House, expressing concerns that national leaders were not calling for calmness.
Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker expressed his concern during the call with Trump, according to a tweet from White House correspondent Katie Rogers.
“I’ve been extraordinarily concerned about the rhetoric that’s been used by you. It’s been inflammatory… we have to call for calm. We have to have police reform called for. We’ve called out our national guard and our state police, but the rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse. And I need to say that people are feeling real pain out there and we’ve got to have national leadership in calling for calm and making sure that we’re addressing the concerns of the legitimate peaceful protestors.”
Trump responded to Pritzker’s concerns during the phone call by telling the governor that he didn’t like the job that he’s done in Illinois on both the coronavirus response and the demonstrations.
The governor’s words come after his recent strong condemnation of Trump’s response to Floyd’s death and subsequent protests, riots, and unrest, according to an NBC Chicago report. At a press conference last Friday, Pritzker called the president a “racist, misogynist homophobe.”
In response to the president’s tweet calling rioters “thugs” and writing “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Pritzker had some strong words for him.
“His tweets, his reaction, his failure to address the racism in America is stoking the flames in subtle and not so subtle ways,” he said.
In Monday morning’s call, Trump urged the governors of the U.S. to step up their efforts in policing and curbing the violence amid the protests, or else the country will look like pushovers to the rest of the world — or a bunch of “jerks,” as The Inquisitr reported. He reminded governors that the U.S. has plenty of resources to curb the violence that occurred over the weekend in major cities, and he urged them to use it.
CBS Local Chicago reported that yesterday, Pritzker ordered the National Guard to provide support in Chicago after Mayor Lori Lightfoot requested assistance due to protests that turned violent on Saturday night left substantial damage in the city. Both the governor and mayor condemned the riots, but they still encouraged peaceful forms of protest, with Pritzker urging demonstrators to practice social distancing and wear masks.