President Donald Trump scolded the nation's mayors and governors for the unrest in the wake of several deaths of unarmed Black people by police and "wannabe police."
Speaking on a conference call, Trump told the group, "the only time it's successful is when you’re weak and most of you are weak."
He went on to tell the group that they must start arresting people or protesters will "run over you."
"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 said.
He reportedly went on to call them "fools."
It prompted one governor's aide to describe it as a "rant."
He then issued a warning for what might happen in Washington, D.C.
"We're doing it in Washington, DC. We're going to do something that people haven't seen before," Trump vowed.
"Mr. Trump, who has not addressed the nation since the unrest began, said he was putting Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “in charge,” but did not immediately specify what that meant or if he would deploy the military to quell the violence in the nation’s cities," the New York Times later reported.
"You know when they have bricks...and they have other things and they throw them, you know you're allowed to fight back," Trump also said. "I'm not asking my attorney general, perhaps he'll stop me from saying that."
Listen to the audio here:
Here's the audio of that remarkable call where Trump lashes out at governors and says they need to crack down on pr… https://t.co/4OdmQbVbnX— Oliver Darcy (@Oliver Darcy) 1591028403.0
See the reports below:
JUST IN: President Trump unloads on the nation's governors on a call, calls on them to step up enforcement: "You ha… https://t.co/lpZgrl7smr— Ed O'Keefe (@Ed O'Keefe) 1591025436.0
NEW- In ongoing call with Governors- President Trump is scolding their response to the crisis. Trump blamed protes… https://t.co/y4cIPR3kKT— Ryan Nobles (@Ryan Nobles) 1591025495.0
More: President Trump just berated governors and mayors for how they are handling the protests, calling them "fools… https://t.co/8jwbK8YpNM— Robert Costa (@Robert Costa) 1591025609.0
Aides to governors say the president continues to talk. One describes it as a "rant." Says he keeps talking about t… https://t.co/IIxfQI2NU0— Robert Costa (@Robert Costa) 1591025828.0
MORE: "We're doing it in Washington, DC. We're going to do something that people haven't seen before," Trump vows i… https://t.co/kMequPVwfE— Steven Portnoy (@Steven Portnoy) 1591025904.0
@CBSNews MORE: Trump tells governors: "You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them… https://t.co/srxxBYCVsF— Ed O'Keefe (@Ed O'Keefe) 1591025488.0
@CBSNews On the call, Trump references Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr. "We wi… https://t.co/xOfVWVKxCm— Ed O'Keefe (@Ed O'Keefe) 1591026028.0
On his call with governors, Trump is now saying that the response in Minnesota was an “experiment.” “First part w… https://t.co/yIUpFT3U0f— Kevin Robillard (@Kevin Robillard) 1591026463.0