President Donald Trump promised the nation’s governors Monday that he will “activate” Bill Barr in response to the protests nationwide over the police killing of George Floyd over the past week. The President berated the governors and said police are “allowed to fight back.”
On the call, Trump references Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr. “We will activate Bill Barr and activate him very strongly,” Trump says.
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) June 1, 2020
One listener on the video conference call said the President sounded “unhinged.” Reports from multiple outlets say Trump told governors they risk looking “weak” if they do not “dominate” the protestors – a word he used repeatedly – and called on state officials to “track” them.
“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,” CBS News political correspondent Ed O’Keefe reports Trump told the governors.
“When they have bricks — you know they come armed with bricks,” Trump said on the call, according to CBS News. “And they have bricks and rocks, big rocks, and they have other big things, and they throw them. You know, you’re allowed to fight back, folks. You don’t have to have a brick hit you in the face, and you don’t do anything about it. You are allowed to fight back.”
“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,” Trump reportedly also said.
“You know when other countries watch this, they’re watching this, the next day wow, they’re really a push over. And we can’t be a push over. And we have all the resources – it’s not like we don’t have the resources. So, I don’t know what you’re doing,” he added.
The president said that the violence “is coming from the radical left — you know, it everybody knows it — but it’s also looters, and it’s people that figure they can get free stuff by running into stores and running out with television sets. I saw it — a kid has a lot of stuff, he puts it in the back of a brand new car and drives off. You have every one of these guys on tape. Why aren’t you prosecuting them? Now, the harder you are, the tougher you are, the less likely you’re going to be hit.”
Trump also promised the governors, “We’re going to clamp down very, very strong,” apparently about the Washington, D.C. area.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti responded, calling it “telling that Trump views Barr as a tool that he can ‘activate’ and use.”
“Barr is supposed to be our attorney, representing the United States, not pushing Trump’s political agenda,” he added.
Pennsylvania AG warns Trump campaign poll watchers to stop videotaping voters
On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that the attorney general of Pennsylvania is warning Trump campaign surrogates to stop videotaping voters dropping off mail-in ballots.
"In a statement, Josh Shapiro, the Democratic state attorney general, said, 'Pennsylvania law permits poll watchers to carry out very discrete and specific duties — videotaping voters at drop boxes is not one of them,'" reported Blake Montgomery.
"The campaign has filed complaints with Philadelphia officials based on the videos, alleging fraud on the part of several voters who submitted two or three ballots, according to The New York Times," continued the report. "The Trump campaign initially said the purpose of the videotaping was to catch voters who dropped off a large number of fraudulent ballots rather than one or two, according to the Times."
WATCH: CNN’s Blitzer corners Trump’s chief of staff for trying to downplay COVID failures
On CNN Thursday, anchor Wolf Blitzer confronted President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows about his failure to follow public health guidelines and demonstrate leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A study from Columbia University ... found that anywhere from 130,000 to 210,000 lives potentially could have been saved over these past eight, nine, ten months with a more robust federal response," said Blitzer. "Why did the president say just this week when he was asked what he would have done differently, he said not much?"
"Well, I can tell you that if your study says that they can save 210,000 lives, I haven't read it, but it would be very difficult to imagine that scenario ... I don't know that any scientist or any doctor would agree with that particular analysis," said Meadows. "What we have here is a clock that keeps talking about the number of cases that we have. It really doesn't talk about the advances that we need to make on the therapeutics, vaccines and treatment side of things."
GOP candidate attacks opponent with racist website about his adviser working for ‘non-white males’
The 2020 campaign cycle continues to get uglier with a North Carolina Republican making explicitly racist attacks on his Democratic Party opponent.
"Anew attack website put up by the Madison Cawthorn campaign includes an explicitly racist broadside against his opponent, Moe Davis (D-NC), for associating himself with people who want to 'ruin white males.' For real," Tim Miller of The Bulwark reported Thursday.
"The website, MoeTaxes.com takes aim at Davis over one of his advisors Tom Fielder. It says that Fielder 'quit his academia job in Boston to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker who aims to ruin white males.' Putting the atrocious syntax aside… Quitting one’s job to work for someone who isn’t white is . . . a problem now? Booker’s blackness is the issue that offends you?" Miller asked. "In Donald Trump’s white grievance party, apparently so."