President Trump lashed out at state governors Monday, stating that those who do not mass arrest protesters and jail them “for long periods of time” will look like “a bunch of jerks.” “You have to dominate,” Trump is reported to have said on a private conference call with governors. “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.”
Trump, who has not addressed the nation since the unrest began and is bunkered down in the White House, added during the call that local officials have to “arrest people” and put them in prison “for long periods of time” in order to assert control amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd. “Most of you are weak,” Trump said, adding that “You have to arrest people.” He added: “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. We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.”
Trump said that in order to quell the violence, he is putting Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “in charge” —though he did not specify what that meant.