President Donald Trump told the nation’s governors in a meeting Monday to “dominate” violent protestors and use aggressive tactics.
“If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run all over you, you’ll look like a bunch of jerks,” Trump said.
Here is a complete transcript of President Trump’s opening remarks:
TRUMP: People here that you’ll be seeing a lot of. Gen. Milley is here. He’s head of the joint chiefs of staff, a fighter, a war hero, a lot of victories and no losses and he hates to see the way it’s being handled in the various states and I just put him in charge. The attorney general is here, Bill Barr, and we will activate Bill Barr and activate him very strongly. We’re strongly – the secretary of defense is here.
We’re strongly looking for arrests. You have to get much tougher. You’re gonna get over it. I know Gov. Walz is on the phone and we spoke and I fully agree with the way he handled it the last couple of days, I asked him to do that. You know, a lot of me – we have all the men and women that you need. But people aren’t calling them up.
You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run all over you, you’ll look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate, and you have to arrest people, and you have to try people and they have to go to jail for long periods of time. I saw what happened in Philadelphia. I saw what happened in Dallas where they kicked a guy to death. I don’t know if he died or not but if he didn’t, it’s a miracle, what they did to him, they were kicking him like I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.
They don’t talk about that, they talk about a lot of other things but they don’t talk about that but I saw what happened in Dallas and those kids, they’re all on camera, they’re wiseguys. And it’s 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 get 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 it is that you’re going to be hit. This is a movement. We found out they’re delivering supplies to various place in various states, your people know about it now. But we found out many things, it’s like a movement, and it’s a movement that if you don’t put it down, it’ll get worse and worse, this is like Occupy Wall Street. It was a disaster until one day, somebody said, that’s enough and they just went in and wiped them out and that’s the last time we ever heard the name Occupy Wall Street, until today when I heard about it, I heard Occupy Wall Street. I haven’t heard about it, I heard about it today for the first time in a long time. They were they forever it seemed on wall street. they closed up Wall Street, the financial district of the world, total domination, they were ordering pizzas, nobody did anything.
And then one day somebody said that’s enough, you’re getting out of here within two hours, and then after that everything was beautiful and that was the last time we heard about it. These are the same people. These are radicals and they’re anarchists. They’re anarchists, whether you like it or not, I know some of you guys are different persuasions and that’s OK. I fully understand that. I understand both. I’m for everybody. I’m representing everybody, I’m not representing – radical right radical left – I’m representing everybody but you have to know what you’re dealing with. But it’s happened before, it’s happened numerous times. And the only time it’s successful is when you’re weak. And most of you are weak.
And I will say this, what’s going on in Los Angeles – I have a friend who lives in Los Angeles. They say all the storefronts are gone. They’re all broken and gone. The merchandise is gone. It’s a shame. It didn’t look as bad as that to me, maybe it was the sunshine, I don’t know. But in Los Angeles, the storefronts are gone. Philadelphia’s a mess, Philadelphia, what happened there is horrible. And that was on television, they’re breaking into stores and nobody showed up to even stop them. There was no – nobody showed up to stop them. Washington, they had large groups, very large groups, they attacked the AFL-CIO building. So they attacked (INAUDIBLE) friends, which is very interesting. But Washington was under great control. But we’re going to have it under much more control. We’re pouring in – we’re going to pull in thousands of people (INAUDIBLE) of the DC police, the mayor, the mayor of Washington DC and Secret Service did a very good job around the White House but their sole, their primary function is around the White House.
But and we’re going to clamp down very, very strong. And you better arrest (INAUDIBLE) – and you’ll never see this stuff again and you’ll have to let them know that. They’re trying to get people out on bail in Minneapolis. I understand they’re out there trying to get all these guys out on bail. So you have them on tape. You have them on television. In history, there’s never been anybody taped so much committing a crime. You have these guys throwing rocks, they show them last night on one of the stations on one of the networks throwing a big brick, and they had him in slow motion replay. Like it’s like a fielder. Catching a ball or throwing a ball you have the slow motion replay, you see exactly who he is, everybody knows.
You have everybody on tape, you gotta arrest all those people, you gotta try them. And if they get five years or ten years, they have to get five years or ten years. There’s no retribution. So I say that and the word is dominate. If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they’re gonna walk away with you. And we’re doing it in Washington, in DC, we’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before. But we’re going to have total domination. And then you have to put them in jail and you have to authorize whatever it is, whoever it is you authorize, and with that I’ll let Bill Barr say a few words and then I’ll let Gen. Milley speak. Let’s go, Bill.
ATTORNEY GEN. BILL BARR: I know the situations vary around the country but it seems that some of the common dimensions are, you have control of (?) protesters, you have opportunistic people like looters, but in many places, if not most places, you have this ingredient of extremist anarchist agitators who are riding the (INAUDIBLE).
Law enforcement response is not gonna work unless we dominate the streets, as the President said. We have to control the streets. If we treat these as demonstrations, the police are pinned back, guarding places and don’t have the dynamic ability to go out and arrest the troublemakers. They’re just standing in a line watching the events. Then when they disperse the crowds, the crowds go running off in different directions, create havoc, there is looting and everything. We have to control the crowd and not react to what’s happening. And that requires a strong presence. In many places it will require the National Guard and when there’s a strong presence, (INAUDIBLE) to defend buildings or a strong presence to control the crowd, things are quieting down, as in Minneapolis.
Some places may not require the National Guard and I think that New Jersey so far has been doing a very good job working with state police and the New York Police. And we’ll see what happens there but the key is you have to have adequate force. That brings up law enforcement, even federal law enforcement, working with your state and local law enforcement, to be more dynamic and to go after the troublemakers. To go after the guys that are throwing the bricks and (INAUDIBLE) … running around starting fires. They have to be taken from the street and arrested and processed.
The structure we’re going to use is the joint terrorist task force, which I know most of you are familiar with. Tried and true system, it’s worked for domestic and homegrown terrorists, and we’re going to employ that model. It already integrates your state and local people and it’s intelligence driven and it will go operational. That’s – we want to lean forward (INAUDIBLE) anyone who violates a federal law in connection with this rioting.
But we need to have people take control of the streets so that we can go out and work with law enforcement, say hello to the law enforcement. And identify these people in the crowd, isolate, pull them out, prosecute.
TRUMP: So the best example, I alluded to it a couple of seconds ago, is Minneapolis. It was incredible what happened in the state of Minnesota. They were a laughingstock, all over the world. They took over the police department. The police were running down the street, sirens blazing, the rest of them running, it was on camera. And then they wiped out, you probably have to build a new one. I’ve never seen anything like it and the whole world was laughing. Two days, three days later, I spoke to the governor, the governor’s I think on the call and he’s an excellent guy, and all of a sudden –
And I said you gotta use the National Guard and take numbers (INAUDIBLE). They didn’t at first, then they did, and I’ll tell you that’s true, I don’t know what it was … those guys, third night, fourth night, they walked through that stuff like it was butter. They walked right through and you haven’t had any problems since and I mean they know – they’re not going to go there, they’re going to go some other place. But once you called that and you dominated, you took the worst place and you made it – they didn’t even cover it last night because there was so little action. So, you dominated, you dominated. Now what happened in New York, I have to tell you, I live in Manhattan. What’s going on in Manhattan, I have no idea. New York’s finest, they gotta be – they need to do their jobs. I don’t know what’s happening in Manhattan but it’s terrible. And because it’s New York, because it’s Manhattan, it gets a lot of press, so they really spend a lot of time on it. but New York is gonna have to toughen up and we’ll send you National Guard if you want. You have the largest police force in the country, 40,000 people I understand, but what’s going on in New York is terrible, it’s terrible.
TRUMP: … 40,000 people I understand, but what’s going on in New York is terrible. It’s terrible. Of all the places, what went on last night in Los Angeles with the stores and the … is terrible. Total domination, you have to dominate. Yeah, go ahead Bill.
BARR: Something the President said reminded me. The reason you know we have to control the streets is not just to bring peace to that town, but to give us the opportunity to get the bad actors because they are going to go elsewhere, we’re picking up information. And when they run into a tough nut…a strong police force and National Guard are looking for secondary target…so they can go and overwhelm the local police force. So, in several of your states you know that’s what we’re hearing.
So, that’s why it’s so imperative we can’t play whack-a-mole we have to…professional instigators to the leadership group. And the way to do that is to start with a strong statement.
TRUMP: If you’re weak and don’t dominate the streets they’re gonna stay away from you until you finally do it, and you don’t want that. Philadelphia, you better toughen up because what’s going on in Philadelphia like New York is terrible. It’s terrible. You better toughen – they never leave. I know you want to say all…hundred people. You’ve got a big National Guard out there that’s ready to come in a time like now. I tell you, what they did in Minneapolis was incredible. They went in and dominated. And it happened immediately.
All of the sudden my wife said to me, ‘wow look at all these people.’ They got out and were wearing dark black uniforms. They got out and they were there in the houses and they walked right down the street, knocking them out with tear gas, tear gas. Those guys, they were running. And the next night it was much less and then the next night, it’s like you know what happened, they went to other cities. They’re all looking for weak spots. Now what they’re going to do is they’re going to search out for perhaps smaller cities, smaller places. You’ve got to arrest these people. You’ve got to arrest these people and you’ve got to judge them, and you can’t do the deal where they get one week in jail. These are terrorists, these are terrorists, they’re looking to do bad things to our country.
They’re Antifa and they’re radical left. And the reason you have other radicals is because they’ve been watching this for years, many years. And they don’t like this. Go back and study Occupy Wall Street, because you’ll see the way that is, a thing of beauty, everybody said ‘I can’t believe how easy it was’ it was an hour of…and when it was all over it was a beautiful thing. And that’s the way it has to end for you, alright secretary of defense.
ESPER: Thank you Mr. President. If I could build on your comments and attorney general’s comments to give some some quick stats. So, of course, the Department of Defense remains in full support of states, the state governors, Department of Justice…law enforcement. Right now we 17,000 folks deployed in the National Guard in 29 states…fewer than 200 people deployed in the Baltimore state as well as their guard. So as the President and the AG have rightly pointed out, Minneapolis, Minnesota, has done a fantastic job.
By Saturday morning, after the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and I suppose the governor increased their presence 10-fold I think the evidence was clear from Saturday night and Sunday night. And so, in my urging I agree, we need to dominate the battle space…resources in the guards. I stand ready the chairman stands ready, the head of the National Guard stands ready to fully support you in terms of helping mobilize the guard and do what they need to do. Again, most of the guard has not been called up. There’s only a few states that…two states where more than 1,000 troops have been called up. I think the sooner that you mask and dominate the battle space, the quicker this dissipates, and we get back to a – the right normal.
TRUMP: I don’t know what it is, politically where you don’t want to call out people. They are already willing and able they want to fight for the country. I don’t know what it is. Someday you’ll have to explain it to me. But it takes so long to call them up. We’re waiting for you, we’re shocked there’s areas, LA, we’re shocked you’re not using the greatest resource you can use and they’re trained for this stuff and they’re incredible. Why you’re not calling them up? I don’t know, but you’re making a mistake because you’re making yourself look like, look like fools. And some have done a great job. A lot of you, it’s not, it’s not good, it’s very bad for our county. You know what, other countries watch this, they’re watching us and they say ‘boy they’re really a pushover.’ And we can’t be a pushover. And you have all the resources, it’s not like you don’t have the resources.
So I don’t know what you’re doing. We’ll take some questions if you want … I think Tim is on the phone now, Tim Walz. Again, I was very happy with the last couple of days. Tim you called up big numbers and the big numbers knocked them out so fast it was like bowling pins. All right, anybody, I guess it’s hashtag…right? Hashtag … The governors on audio, the governors on any …. hashtag … anybody want to speak? Brian is up there. Brian you want to speak? Georgia, Brian Kemp.
KEMP: Hey, good morning, Mr. President. I can just give you a quick update, I’ll talk through this as fast as I can from starting on Friday night. We have been talking to the city of Atlanta in preparation to support peaceful protest but also to protect lives and the property of the citizens in Atlanta and around the state of Georgia. But also, we have the mindset to take strong actions against the disruptors.
We had 500 guard called up and ready to support as well as the whole thing we had in our state operations center we activated. We had the Georgia State…, Georgia National Guard, the Department of Natural Resource team of rangers and then we used our Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Community Supervision, they all have certified officers. Two of those have instant response teams that they use to…prison disruptions. And those people are really good at doing that. We had all of those teams standing by to help Friday night. It became evident that APD needed our help, and we went in there and I think did a good job in a really tough situation to calm things down.
And then Saturday we worked with their whole team we had a major from the Atlanta Police Department embedded in our state operations center. We had one of our people in their operation center so we had constant communications and I was in the state ops center all three nights for a very long time so I got to see this firsthand. But that coordination that we were able to have with the locals, with the guard, the state patrol and all our other resources as well as having surveillance in the air, especially Saturday night, was awesome.
And we had a lot of people that did the right thing, we supported them in the peaceful protest. And when the curfew hit, they went home. And what we saw was the disrupters stayed. And so you knew those were the people that we were going to have to deal with. And that’s what we did over the weekend. Just two other things real quick. We did see in Savannah last night we were … a lot of the instigators in Charlotte, South Carolina on Saturday night were coming to Savannah on last night.
We were watching that. We got in place early so the attorney general was correct in saying we could watch those folks that you knew were professionals, if you will. We knew that they were … office supplies and areas … We were surveilling that. They ended up moving those because they figured out we were watching them and just because I think we were there early and really … I think they only arrested 10 people. And the first person they arrested was was from out of state. The last thing I will tell you is this Georgia National Guard medics team most likely saved an Atlanta police officer’s life last night when he rammed by a disruptor on a four-wheeler. And they put a tourniquet on him and helped him … hospital and it was great to see that. So thank you for your support of the guard.
TRUMP: Thank you Brian very much. And you did a good job, it looked like Atlanta was a much different place with a little time so that … was pretty rough. Tim Walz I don’t know if you’ve left yet for your conference, I know you had a conference. You were the one that didn’t have a conference. Uh, is Tim there? I’d like to maybe have him explain the difference between the beginning and the end. Tim are you there?
WALZ: I am. Thank you, Mr. President. And I want to give a thank you to Secretary Esper for your strategic guidance, very helpful. Yeah our … is grieving and in pain. And I would just say as far as the … the peaceful protestors were expecting an out … that is real they wouldn’t … if there were a man dying in front of them. That part of it then of course sparked civil unrest, there, there were actors and I would like to believe they were … here in Minnesota but they’re not … an issue with the Minneapolis Police Department. But once that starts to spin … the … in the first few days. I don’t believe anybody would have had a big enough force to do this. We mobilized … Thursday and Friday.
I had mobilized … about 750 to 1,000 if we could get a National Guard onto the scene. But one of our … in state history for civil rights or civil obedience and we were still overwhelmed. At that point … I hope … the National Guard. And that’s what the President was alluding to …
WALZ: But I think, again, Mr. President, I hope, you asked (INAUDIBLE) it’s going to be very critical. There are (INAUDIBLE) legitimate anger and here our problems wouldn’t be … if we cannot be (INAUDIBLE) we’ve got to have the resources to maintain (INAUDIBLE) and we’re going to have to transition back. (INAUDIBLE) overwhelming here is the transition back is the catalyst that started (inaudible) what happened with Minneapolis police department. So (INAUDIBLE) a lot of (inaudible) specific leaders and the peaceful protests and obviously (INAUDIBLE) … I think the guidance is you’ve got to get a handle on it with that force. That is absolutely (INAUDIBLE). And then the transition in the next phase is trying to get those (INAUDIBLE) for the peaceful protests and (inaudible) to do things that we have to look at of how do we get reform. And (INAUDIBLE) a tragedy that I still (INAUDIBLE) we avoided was the truck speeding down the highway with thousands of protesters … at that point in time we do not know…that was a (INAUDIBLE) … of whether it was going to be intentional. As it turned out, it was a confused and scared driver who didn’t want to leave the interstate, turned into that, saw (INAUDIBLE) pulled out of the vehicle. Some of you recall that it looked like…during Rodney King. But the truck never (INAUDIBLE) but he was (INAUDIBLE) he said that that crowd was about (INAUDIBLE) and they pulled him in which deescalated the situation and as (INAUDIBLE) said, last night was calm and (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: But Tim, it shows me incredible difference between your great state…yesterday and the day before compared to the first few days was just …
TRUMP: Never seen anything like it …
TRUMP: But the police force didn’t take it over. And I don’t blame you. I blame the mayor. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it where the police were told to abandon the police house and it was ransacked and really destroyed…you know millions and millions of dollars are going to have to go back and fix it. I don’t know. You’ll (INAUDIBLE)
WALZ: Mr. President, if I’m still on, (inaudible) the one thing I would say you could do is…a lot of people don’t understand who the National Guard is and you need to get out there from a PR perspective and make sure that it’s not seen as a occupying force, but it’s their neighbors, school teachers, business owners, those types of things. That’s a really effective message.
TRUMP: OK, good. I think that’s a good idea. I must tell you it got so bad a few nights ago that the people wouldn’t have minded an occupying force. I wish they had an occupying force in there. But for some reason, I don’t know what it is governors don’t like calling up a lot of…the guard. We have thousands and thousands of people waiting to be called up. Is that a correct statement, general?
TRUMP: 350,000. You have 350,000 people and they call up 200. Tim used that the first night (INAUDIBLE). What happened is after that he said let’s go and I’ll tell you, this was like magic. You saw thousands of people all of a sudden, you know, online, just walking through the street. I said…it was like a beautiful thing to see. And we have 350,000 plus in the National Guard and nobody wants to use them and their cities are ransacked and they’re a disgrace all over the world. All over the world they’re (INAUDIBLE) it. What happened in Los Angeles was a (INAUDIBLE). And New York was a disaster. I don’t understand what happened to New York’s finest. I don’t understand it. But there’s nothing wrong with New York calling up the National Guard. There’s nothing wrong with it. Alright. Thank you very much, Tim. Go ahead next, please. (INAUDIBLE) Do you want to say something? Go ahead.
So, Mr. President while we’re waiting on the governor (INAUDIBLE). What you mentioned about the Guard, we’ve found in various studies over the years, the 1960s riots, Rodney King (INAUDIBLE), the introduction of the National Guard in force on the streets during civil (INAUDIBLE), intervening in civil riots, civil unrest, seems to be a very calming effect. (INAUDIBLE) numbers (INAUDIBLE) that’s what I saw in Minnesota. So when I talk to the governor, when Secretary Esper talks to the governor, when (INAUDIBLE) the governor, and to his credit, he mobilized the entire Minnesota Guard, (INAUDIBLE) fixed sites, fixed site security at key points on the ground and you had police as mobile forces (INAUDIBLE) law enforcement. It’s a very effective technique. It’s been used for years in the past. We have activated. We have activated the National Guard (INAUDIBLE) civil authorities on average for civil disturbances one every three years (INAUDIBLE) so it is a very effective technique, strongly encouraged. (INAUDIBLE) mobilize and start reporting today as many guard as you think you need in order to establish law and order in the various cities. 55 cities have protest … 54 … 55 cities have protests the last 24 hours and 22 of them were violent at moderate to severe levels. But the rest were peaceful. The rest were peaceful because it was good law and order on the streets so strongly encourage the use of the National Guard to get as many boots on the ground as you can muster.
TRUMP: So, we automatically have our experiment and that’s…I hate to say, Minnesota, you had the first part, which was weak and pathetic, and you had the second part, which was domination, and those guys probably, largely left their (inaudible) one of your cities, one of your states because they’re not getting anywhere in Minnesota anymore. So you have that perfect contrast of Minnesota phase one, Minnesota phase two. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. It just can’t be any better. There’s no experiment needed. You don’t have to do tests. Alright, go ahead. Hashtag two, please. Anybody?
MILLS: Mr. President. This is Janet Mills, governor the great state of Maine. Thank you for the call and information and thank you Attorney General Barr, Mr. Secretary and (INAUDIBLE) gentlemen. I have two questions (INAUDIBLE). One is, you mentioned, somebody mentioned intelligence regarding the source of the protests and the bad actors and professional instigators … as a prosecutor for more than 20 years in the state of Maine, a former attorney general, a former district attorney to three counties, I would be very interested in knowing the intel so that we can prepare in advance for any insurgents or any professional instigators. We haven’t seen that yet in my state, that I know of, but I would love to hear the intel that you appear to have access to regarding who these individuals are who are those bad actors and professional instigators.
Secondly, Attorney General Barr you mentioned arresting for federal…violations of federal law and charging people federally. I’d be interested to know what federal statutes we would rely on for prosecutions, arrests and prosecutions for violations of federal law. Those are my questions. My comment is, Mr. President, I’m very concerned quite frankly, that we understand that you’re coming to the state of Maine later this week. I’m very concerned that your presence may cause security problems for our state and (inaudible) yet. So I’m concerned about that. Thank you.
TRUMP: We’ll look into that. We have a tremendous crowd of people showing up, as you know, and I think most of them are very favorable. They like their president, but we’ll talk to you about that, certainly. As far as intelligence, we do have intelligence, information and we’ll present it to the appropriate people. I’d like to (inaudible) if you hear anything, let us know. Report it to the attorney general….
MILLS: Of course. (cross talk) information, I would really like to have it. Thank you.
TRUMP: Or … by the way (INAUDIBLE) you can prosecute (INAUDIBLE) but if you prosecute (INAUDIBLE) the levels (INAUDIBLE) very rapidly. Go ahead, please.
BARR: we will be sharing intelligence with all of our state and local partners through the joint terrorist task forces. Everything (INAUDIBLE) we will direct your way (INAUDIBLE). I know your people are tying it to that. As to federal offenses, there are many different federal offenses that emerge in rioting situations. Two of the most common are anyone who crosses state lines (INAUDIBLE) federal offense, to incite or dissipating (INAUDIBLE) or anyone who uses any interstate facility…telecommunications, vehicles, (INAUDIBLE) whatever, in connection with participating and encouraging riots…those are two federal (INAUDIBLE) but there are many others. (INAUDIBLE) destructive devices and conspiracies and other (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: So, Phil Murphy did a very new job in New Jersey, which is interesting, because you had very little problem. You did call up a lot of good law enforcement. You had a lot of good law enforcement. Phil, I think you’re there … Phil Murphy?
MURPHY: Mr. President, yes…good morning to each of you. Honored to be with you. We had about 30 protests through the weekend and the attorney general said it exactly right, the (INAUDIBLE) problem was that there were (INAUDIBLE) there was about 30 and we managed 28 out of 30. There were some disturbances involving Atlantic City and Trenton, but by the scale, based on what we see on television, these were, while unfortunate, were not (INAUDIBLE) scale of that (INAUDIBLE) no philosophical issue whatsoever due to or not due to the National Guard (INAUDIBLE) so far. (INAUDIBLE) state police, Rep. (INAUDIBLE) local police would have been able (INAUDIBLE) within our (INAUDIBLE) so far we’ve got about nine, it looks like nine (inaudible) from today (INAUDIBLE) expecting these are peaceful in nature
MURPHY: We’ve got about nine looks like nine more of these scheduled – at least the organizers are claiming these are peaceful in nature. We’re gonna make sure we’ve got the police there to ensure that that’s safe, protect the community, allow folks to express their protest – which we have no issue with – we just want to make sure it’s peaceful. But so far so good (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: I appreciate it very much, really good and congratulations so far. Keep it going. Doug Ducey are you on there, please?
DUCEY: Yes. Thank you very much Mr. President. Yesterday we met with the comm leaders from around the state, heard all of their concerns. I know that we can do better both statewide and federally as well. Now Phoenix is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the entire county and we’ve learned some lessons over the last three days. First, the more aggressive approach does work. We wanted peaceful protestors to be able to exercise their First Amendment rights.
We had a tough time after the sun went down figuring out who was the peaceful protestors and who was the person who was going to cause trouble, destroy property, or begin violent action.
I put out a statewide emergency yesterday and we put out a statewide curfew for ATM and we did that because of what we saw the night before. Phoenix Police Department, Department of Public Safety did a great job stopping the unlawful part of the protests became riotous, but it morphed into … was rumored to go to Candler or to the west side, so we put out the statewide curfew. We called up the National Guard in force. We got all of our mayors, all of our police chiefs on board, and last night was a very quiet and peaceful night in the state of Arizona.
TRUMP: That’s what I saw. I saw that. Big difference.
TRUMP: Jim Bel Edwards? John Bel are you there?
EDWARDS: Mr. President, thank you very much for the meeting and for the call. We’ve had about a dozen protests, I think a grand total of about two arrests of individuals. It’s been relatively peaceful here. We have engaged the African American and faith community primarily, but also leaders across the state of Louisiana. We’ve been able to respond thus far with the police departments, the sheriff’s office, the parishes and the state police. Obviously we have the National Guard here and could use them if necessary. We have – and it’s particularly been a benefit for us – we went through in 2016 several weeks of very heavy protests, almost all of which were peaceful though, and so we’ve kept up those communications though with the various communities, and so far we’re in good shape. Like Phil Murphy I don’t want to jinx things, and we know that things can turn on a dime. And we know in 2016, most of the problems came from people who were bussed in from out of state. It was not local home grown folks who were the most violent and extremist on our streets.
And so that’s where we could get some help from the federal government. If you all know that there are individuals or groups out there that are intending to target Louisiana in terms of coming in, that would be very, very helpful. We are monitoring the internet, we have our fusion center and so forth, but if Mr. Attorney General, if you think of some information like that, that would be very helpful if you would share with us.
TRUMP: Good. I appreciate that very much and likewise, though, if you have information about the groups. For instance we had information last night, we got it, where they’re going to be loading. They’re gonna be loading – it’s like a military operation. There’s certain states – we’ve already notified them – but they’re going to be loading. It’s like we’re talking about a war, which it is a war in a certain sense, and we’re going to end it fast. So (INAUDIBLE). Thanks very much.
TRUMP: Larry Hogan, please? Maryland?
HOGAN: Yeah Mr. President, thank you very much, first of all I want to thank you for agreeing to our request on extending that Title 32. It couldn’t be more timely, talking about everybody calling up the National Guard, and I couldn’t agree more with all of the things that you’ve said. We had this experience in Maryland in 2015 when we had the riots in Baltimore and we did exactly what you’re recommending. The city police in Baltimore were somewhat overwhelmed, but in a matter of hours, we sent in 4,000 members of the National Guard and a thousand additional police officers. They outnumbered the protestors and immediately calmed down the violence after the first few hours, and then just allowed people to protest for the rest of the week. I think that’s what’s not happening in some of the cities and I agree with, kind of ‘peace through strength.’ I think bringing up enough man power and not letting anybody be overpowered the way they have been the last few days is exactly the right thing.
We have 1300 members of the Guard called up now. We haven’t had any issues, problems yet, the most peaceful, I think, was (INAUDIBLE).
But we’re watching to see if it breaks down again. But on the – I had a call with many of the governors and talking to all of them across the country, everybody’s saying the same thing about the out-of-town agitators. It seems to be very organized, and as the discussion the attorney general was talking about – the crossing of state lines, federal crimes, sharing of information and intelligence, critically, for all the governors that we all are focused on – it’s difficult in some of these cities with the prosecutors we have and the judges we have to get convictions even on violent crimes, let alone on these kinds of things. The federal charges with US attorneys going to federal court, sharing the intelligence, all of that is very, very helpful. We appreciate all the effort. Thank you very much.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. They’re national anarchists, in many cases, and they’re leading a group of (INAUDIBLE). These are easily-led people.
Gov. Larry Hogan: And I’ll just point out, Mr. President, we had those in Baltimore, in 2015. This is not new. As you point out, Occupy Wall Street, we had a lot of people, demonstrators, back in 2015. I’d only been governor for 90 days. But the troublemakers were all from out of town all organized profess agitators, I don’t know, if it’s the same group or a different group but they were former (INAUDIBLE) folks back then. So they just continue (INAUDIBLE) their craft and get better.
TRUMP: That’s right. And you know when they have bricks you know they come armed with bricks and they have bricks and rocks big rocks and they have other things and they throw them, you know you’re allowed to fight back. 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. Now I’m not asking my attorney general to have to stop me from saying that, but I would say that if a brick is thrown at somebody and it hits him, or maybe if it misses him, your very tough, strong, powerful people are allowed to fight back against that guy and very strongly and powerfully. That’s what I think. I saw what they did to the kid in Dallas and that was a disgrace. That was a disgrace. That should’ve been stopped. I’ve never seen anybody take that punishment and I don’t know, I guess maybe he’s not going to live, but I saw what happened. I saw what happened to that kid. I’ve never seen it. Nobody talks about it. Nobody even mentions it.
TRUMP: But I know when you’re doing well because I haven’t seen Maryland on television. And that’s good, when you’re not on television.
HOGAN: We don’t want to be on television again, but what you’re talking about with the injuries, we had 137 police and firefighters injured in the first few hours of that disturbance in 2015, and we sent in the Guard and all those police officers and not a single person was hurt for the rest of the week. No more violence. So, it’s powerful forces, with showing restraint, but I think showing those groups, people start to scatter.
TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, Larry. Hashtag two if anyone wants to call in, hashtag two.
OPERATOR: Governor Polis.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
JUSTICE: Mr. President can you hear me? It’s Jim Justice from West Virginia.
TRUMP: Yes. I can.
JUSTICE: All I would say to you is that if it comes to pass that some states would rather you didn’t come there, you come to West Virginia, because you’re a looming hero here and we’ll protect you in every way and there won’t be any disturbance whatsoever. You know. when it really boils right down to it, we’ve had some real peaceful protests. We’ve welcomed them, but absolutely we’re not gonna have a problem here – because first and foremost, I’m not gonna put up with it. There is no way. There is no way. Instantaneously, we’ll call in the Guard or do what whatever we’ve got to do, but I am just exactly like you, and I’m not gonna put up with this.
TRUMP: Well that sounds a lot different than the governor of Maine. That’s very good. You know she tried to talk me out of it, now she probably talked me into it. She just doesn’t understand me very well. But that’s ok.
TRUMP: Thanks very much. I appreciate it very much, Jim. You know we have a situation – I was thinking about calling a number of you – with flag burning. I’m not a believer in flag burning, and I would think that if a state wanted to try and pass a law [where] you’re not allowed to burn flags with a certain punishment, strong punishment, I would think that the United States government would be backing you up all the way. So you’re all on the phone right now, and I would think the United States government would love to see somebody go and do that, because I think flag burning is a disgrace. And it passed last time, as you know, against – well a lot of people won – it passed 5 to 4 and we have a different court. And I think that it’s time to review that again because when I see flags being burned – they wanted to crawl up the flag poles in Washington and try and burn flags, but we stopped them. They weren’t able to do it. They would’ve done it if we didn’t stop them. I think it’s time to relook at that issue. Hopefully the Supreme Court will accept that. But if you have a state where you feel strongly, and many of you do, most of you do I’ll bet, so if you wanted to try and pass a very powerful flag-burning statute, again, anti-flag-burning, I hope you do it because we’ll back you 100%, all the way.
POLIS: Hi, this is Governor Jared Polis [background gargle] yeah we are in Colorado (INAUDIBLE) we were able to use the national guard and they’re very amazing folks, I want to thank them for renewing their service and as you know (INAUDIBLE) we owe that to them, for (INAUDIBLE) coronavirus and protecting our cities, it’s all incredibly important. I just wanted to ask the public health side of this, one of the things we did is distribute masks to some of the peaceful protesters, I don’t know if others had that issue, obviously we’re concerned with the size of the gatherings, some we’re doing social distancing, some weren’t, I am encouraged (INAUDIBLE) as freely available (INAUDIBLE) anybody has the right to peacefully protest can get a mask who needs one.
But we’re all worried, Mr. President, about the set-backs of the re-openings with everything going on we just feel people, some of which we’re doing social distancing some who weren’t, I just wanted to encourage others to buy masks and offer testing (INAUDIBLE) because obviously we’re using the national guard over the weekend, we just had a handful of arrests and no large scale infiltrations that we’ve seen people who were [inaudible] riled up and anarchy or whatever (INAUDIBLE) so I just wanted to pass on that public health detail (INAUDIBLE) responsible (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: Thank you very much Jared, thank you we’ll have to have you at the White House very soon, McMaster, I think I hear Henry McMaster on the line his people (INAUDIBLE) Henry, cuz I know [crosstalk] -
MCMASTER: Thank you Mr. President, I (INAUDIBLE) attorney general saying, (INAUDIBLE) and telephone calls and also what we’ve been saying is I don’t think we’ve been prosecuting enough people –
TRUMP: I agree.
McMaster: (INAUDIBLE) they’re just getting thirty days or five hundred dollars that’s just the cost of doing business, I know that we have organized people. We’re trying to figure out if we’ve got some here maybe we do, we have a state grand jury just like the rest of (INAUDIBLE) and bring them to full or that grand jury and investigate with the tools of the grand jury, we talked to our U.S. Attorney Steven McCoy, so everyone was onboard and (INAUDIBLE) what’s happening in the city of Charleston, but the first night they had one of those until eleven o’clock, a curfew, they had a whole lot of (INAUDIBLE) the best confrontational approach is they had a lot of (INAUDIBLE) beautiful place with lots of people (INAUDIBLE) big fire crackers, and they was laying across the tables and (INAUDIBLE) the curfew and they were scaring everybody out and running into - [inaudible] in the hotel and shops heard shots [inaudible] some of the agitators and a lot of them are from outside there’s no doubt about it, this Antifa or whatever you call it, (INAUDIBLE) one man in Columbia he had a glock pistol in a napsack, and ninety rounds of ammunition, (INAUDIBLE) some information from him. I think what you’re saying is right, we have to make it more difficult - we’ve got to (INAUDIBLE) make it more (INAUDIBLE) to come run around and get (INAUDIBLE) and go to another town and do the same thing.
McMaster: The other point is that (INAUDIBLE) everywhere, the department of corrections, [inaudible] the state police force, the city and county sheriffs are coming in and sharing - in Charleston though we had the national guard on Sunday night and they had virtually no problems, the sheriffs were out and said they’d never seen such police presence in his life and it was like (INAUDIBLE) and just a handful of arrests and [inaudible] rolling around the city of Charleston it was very peaceful, so great work (INAUDIBLE) like you said it’s time to get serious about prosecuting people and finding out where their origins are, who’s paying the money and we’ve heard some of them get a bonus if they get arrested, (INAUDIBLE) hands get arrested. (INAUDIBLE) The police told them get out of there and more and more arrests, so that’s the state of it we have to be careful to (INAUDIBLE)–
Trump: You don’t have to be careful, you don’t have to be too careful and I’ll tell you, you have to do the prosecutions, you don’t do the prosecutions – they’re just going to be back. Whether it’s in two years or two months they’re gonna be back and you gotta do the prosecutions and you know when someone is throwing a rock, it’s just like shooting a gun – just like having a – (INAUDIBLE) hit somebody in the face, wipe them out practically, we have a couple people badly hurt and there’s no retribution, so you have to do retribution in my opinion, you have to use your own legal system. You do have a great legal system from everyone I’ve been speaking to but if you want this to stop you’ve got to - you have to prosecute these people, Henry, you’re right. Thank you very much. (CROSS-TALK)
Female voice: Please go ahead you’re line is open.
Pritzker: This is Governor Pritzker.
TRUMP: I can hear you.
PRITZKER: You can hear me? Good. (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Are you on your cell phone maybe? We’re not hearing you great.
PRITZKER: Can you hear me OK? (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Go ahead.
PRITZKER: Thank you Mr. President, I wanted to take this moment, I can’t let it pass to (INAUDIBLE) to say that I’m extraordinarily concerned with the rhetoric that’s been used by you, it’s been inflammatory and not okay but that officer who choked George Floyd to death but we have to call for calm, we have to call for – we called out our National Guard and our street police, but the rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse. And I need to say that we are feeling real pain out here and that we’ve got to have national leadership on this that is calling for calm and for making sure that (INAUDIBLE) legitimate peaceful protests, that will help us bring order.
TRUMP: Well thank you very much, Jay, I don’t like your rhetoric either because I watch (INAUDIBLE) coronavirus and I don’t like your rhetoric about it either I think you could’ve done a much better job, but that’s OK, and you know, we don’t agree with each other, as far as the (INAUDIBLE) in place (INAUDIBLE) respect the officer (INAUDIBLE) I’ve spoken about it also, talking about it with great compassion and I think it’s a horrible thing that happened, and I’ve called it out on numerous occasions, in numerous speeches, I spoke about it at our great rocket launch, I covered it before I covered the rocket, when we sent out a billion-dollar rocket and before I spoke about the rocket I made a speech after the rocket launched, I spoke about officer – I spoke about as to what happened with respect to Mr. Floyd, I thought it was a disgrace, I thought what happened was a disgrace but I spoke about it about as long as I did the rocket and those police officers and what they did including the three of them that stood there and watched. And they even participated, the whole world was disgraced by it, not just our country, the whole world was watching, so nobody can tell me I haven’t spoken about it, I’ve spoken about it at great length, at great length and I will continue to speak about it, but I also have to think about law and order, we need law and order in our country and if we don’t have law and order we don’t have a country. So, we need law and order.
TRUMP: OK, who’s next? (INAUDIBLE)
FEMALE VOICE: There’s no one in the queue at this time.
TRUMP: OK, I want to thank all of you, be strong, be tough, be smart, be safe, be safe, very unfortunate and uh (INAUDIBLE) of the people you have to do it right. Many, many people, you know Mr. Floyd but there are many other people who have been badly hurt and killed and the way we’re going to do it, the way we’re going to stop the problem is to be fair and be strong, you have to be strong. Use our national guard, you’re much better off with too many than too few. That’s one thing we have to have, too many is a good thing, too few is unacceptable so go out there and get ‘em, good luck tonight and if you have any information, let us know please, thank you very much.