Trump Just Told American Governors 'You Have to Dominate' the Protesters

"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."
01 June 2020, 4:44pm
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks after the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

President Trump told governors that they need to “dominate” in response to the ongoing unrest tearing through the nation, taking an inflammatory approach after days of civil rights protests of last week's police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man.

"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,” Trump told governors and law enforcement officers during a Monday morning call, according to audio obtained by CBS News.

You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” Trump said.

Those protests, which have sometimes turned violent, have taken place in dozens of cities across the U.S., and landed in Trump’s own front yard. Protesters have gathered in front of the White House in Washington for days, and those protests turned violent on Saturday and Sunday nights, with some cars overturned and a number office and store windows smashed.

Trump warned that he plans to practice what he preaches in the face of ongoing unrest.

"Washington was under very good control, but we’re going to have it under much more control. We’re going to pull in thousands of people,” he said.

Trump has yet to publicly address the ongoing unrest, except for brief comments lamenting Floyd’s death over the weekend. But he’s taken a harshly militaristic, at times violent tone in discussing the protests.

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he said in a Friday night tweet calling the protesters in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, “thugs.” On Sunday, he doubled down with an all-caps tweet “LAW & ORDER,” after saying that he’d declare antifa a terrorist organization, without presenting any evidence the group was behind the looting and vandalism that has scarred many cities.

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Cover: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks after the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo by Saul Martinez/Getty Images)