Trump urges Minnesota officials to get 'tougher'

Donald Trump
President Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 2020.
Alex Brandon | AP file

President Trump is urging Minnesota officials to get tougher with protesters who are destroying property and looting.

Trump spoke at the White House on Saturday after protests turned to rioting in some cities around the country. He says by getting tougher, political leaders in Minnesota would be honoring the memory of George Floyd.

Trump said the U.S. military is “ready, willing and able” to assist. He said, “we can have troops on the ground very quickly if they ever want our military.”

Trump specifically called out the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey. He said the mayor “is probably a very good person, but he’s a radical, left mayor.” He then described how he watched as a police station in the city was overrun.

“For that police station to be abandoned and taken over, I’ve never seen anything so horrible and stupid in my life,” the president said.

Hours before his comments on Saturday, Trump had fired off a series of tweets ridiculing people who protested outside the White House and praising the Secret Service who used shields and pepper spray to push them back.

Hundreds gathered late Friday to protest the police killing of a black man in Minneapolis and Trump’s response.

The president tweeted Saturday he watched from inside the White House as officers “let the ‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone .... got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard - didn’t know what hit them.”

Trump said if the protesters had managed to breach the White House fence, “they would ... have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

Trump ended the last of five tweets by saying, “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???”

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