On Monday, Donald Trump told governors during a conference call that he would deploy the military to stop the protests unless states “put down” and “dominate” protestors.
“You have to arrest people, and you have to try people. And they have to go to jail for long periods of time,” Trump said on the call. “If people are running amok, you have to dominate. If you aren’t dominating, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you; you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.”
He added, “It’s a movement. If you don’t put it down, it will get worse and worse. The only time it’s successful is when you’re weak, and most of you are weak.”
Now governors across the nation are hitting back at the celebrity-in-chief’s violent demands, calling them “illegal” and “dangerous.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said his comments are “gravely concerning to all Americans.”
Whitmer said Trump’s comments “send a clear signal that this administration is determined to sow the seeds of hatred and division, which I fear will only lead to more violence and destruction,” according to NPR.
Democrat Governor of Washington Jay Inslee called Trump’s remarks the “rantings of an insecure man trying to look strong after building his entire political career on racism.”
During Trump’s call with governors, Democrat Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker told Trump that “rhetoric coming out of the White House is making it worse.” Trump didn’t like being talked back to and clapped back, “I don’t like your rhetoric that much either.”
Even the Republican governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, called Trump’s comments “incendiary words.”
“At so many times during these last several weeks, when the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it simply was nowhere to be found,” he said, according to NPR. “Instead, we got bitterness, combativeness, and self-interest. That’s not what we need in Boston, it’s not what we need right now in Massachusetts, and it’s definitely not what we need across this great country of ours either.”