Jun 1, 2020
Donald Trump Phone Call Transcript With Governors After Protests: “You Have to Dominate” & “Most of You Are Weak”
Donald Trump held a call with the US state governors where he said “most of you are weak” amid George Floyd protests. He encouraged them to use more aggressive tactics on protestors, saying “You have to dominate.” Read the transcript from the call here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Donald Trump: (00:00)
… situation going on it. It shouldn’t be hard to take care of it. We’re going to take care of it. And we’ve got a number of people here that you’ll be seeing. General Milley is here, who’s head of joint chief of staff, a fighter, a warrior, had 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, right here, Bill Barr. And we will activate Bill Barr and activate him very strongly, with strongly and technical defenses here. We’re strongly looking for arrests. You have to get much tougher. You’re going to get overridden. I know Governor 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.
Donald Trump: (00:59)
Get a lot of men. 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 over you. You’re going to 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’d never seen anything like it in my life. People don’t talk about that. But I’m talking about that. They’re talking about a lot of other things, but they don’t talk about that.
Donald Trump: (01:42)
But I saw what happened in Dallas and those kids are all on camera. The wise guys. And it’s coming from the radical left. You know, everybody knows it, but it’s also looters. And it’s people that figured they could get free stuff running into stores and running out with television sets. I saw a kid has a lot of stuff. He puts it into the back of a brand new car and drives off. You have every one of these guys on video, 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 in delivering supplies to various places in various states. You 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 it’s the last time I 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. It was there for forever it seemed on wall street. They closed up wall street, the financial district of the world. And they had total domination. They were ordering pizzas that were… nobody did anything. And then one day somebody said, that’s enough. You get them out of here within two hours. And it was Bedlam for an hour. Then after that, everything was beautiful. And that was the last time we heard about it. But these are the same people. These are radicals and they’re anarchists.
Donald Trump: (03:28)
They’re anarchists. Whether you like it or not. I know some of you guys are different persuasion and that’s okay. I fully understand that. I understand both, but I’m for everybody, I’m representing everybody. I’m not representing radical right, radical left. I’ve representing everybody, but you have to know what you’re dealing with. And 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 that lives in Los Angeles. They say all the storefronts are gone. They’re all broken and gone and 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 store fronts are gone.
Donald Trump: (04:14)
Philadelphia is a mess. What happened there is horrible. And that was on television. They were breaking into stores and nobody showed up to stop them. Nobody showed up to stop them. In Washington, they had large groups, very large groups. They attack the [inaudible 00:04:35] building. So they attacked in [inaudible 00:04:37] their friends, which is very interesting, but Washington was under very good control, but we’re going to have it as a much more control. We’re going to pull in thousands of people. We were under guard of the DC police, the mayor of Washington DC and secret service did a very good job around the White House. But their primary function is around the White House, and we’re going to clamp down very, very strong, but you’ve got to arrest people. You have to try people. You have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again.
Donald Trump: (05:16)
And you have to let them know that. They’re trying to get people out on bail in Minneapolis. I understand they’re in 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. You could see it. They showed it last night on one of those stations on one of the networks throwing a big brick. And they had him in slow motion replay. It’s like a fielder catching a ball or throwing a ball, they had them in slow motion replay. You see exactly who he is. Everybody knows. You’ll find out exactly. You have everybody’s on tape. You got to arrest all those people and you got to try them. And if they get five years or 10 years, they have to get five years or 10 years.
Donald Trump: (06:11)
There’s no retribution. So I say that, and the word is dominated. If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they’re going to walk away with you. And we’re doing it in Washington and DC. And we’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before, but you got 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 authorized. And with that, I’ll let Bill Barr say a few words, and then we’re going to have General Milley speak. Let’s go, Bill.
Bill Barr: (06:43)
I know situations vary around the country, but it seems that some of the common dimensions are we have the normal protestors. You have opportunistic people like looters. But in many places, it’s not most places, you have this ingredient of extremist anarchist types, agitators, who are driving the violence. Law enforcement response is not going to work unless we dominate the streets as the president said.
Bill Barr: (07:15)
We have to control the streets. If we treat these are demonstrations, the police are in back guarding places and don’t have the dynamic ability to go out and arrest the trouble makers. They’re just standing in the line, watching the events. Then when they dispersed the crowds, the class goes running off in different directions and create havoc, looting, and other things. We have to control the crowd and not react to what’s happening on the street. And that requires a strong presence. In many places, we think it will require the National Guard. And when there’s a strong presence, not just an adequate presence to defend buildings, but a strong presence to control the crowd, requiring that as in Minneapolis. Some places may not look for the National Guard. And I think that New Jersey so far has been doing a very good job with the state police and Newark police.
Bill Barr: (08:13)
And we’ll see what happens there. But the key is you have to have adequate force. That frees up law enforcement, including 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 who were pounding the bricks and the Molotov cocktails. There’s very few people who are running around lighting fires. They have to be taken off the streets and arrested and processed. The structure we’re going to use is the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which I know most of you are familiar. It’s a tried and true system. It’s worked for domestic homegrown terrorists. And we’re going to apply that model. That already integrates your state and local people and it’s intelligence driven. And it will go operational. We want to lean forward and charge federally anyone who violates a federal law in connection with this rioting. But we need to have people in control of the street so we can go out and work with law enforcement, state and local law enforcement, then identify these people in the crowds, isolate them, and pull them out and prosecute them.
Donald Trump: (09:23)
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 laughing stock 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’ll probably have to build a new one, but I’ve never seen anything like it. And the whole world was laughing.
Donald Trump: (09:58)
Two days, three days later, I spoke to the governor and the governor’s I think on the call. He’s an excellent guy. And all of a sudden, and I said, you got to use the National Guard in big numbers. They didn’t at first. Then they did. And I’ll tell this. I don’t know what it was, governor. It was the fourth night. Those guys walked through that stuff like it was butter. They walked right through and you haven’t had any problems since. I mean, they know. They’re not going to go there. Now they’ll go to some other place.
Donald Trump: (10:29)
But once you called out 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 because you’ve dominated. You dominated. Now what happens to 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’ve got to be allowed maybe 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 spent a lot of time on it. But New York is going to 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. Of all the places. What went on last night in Los Angeles with the stores and the store fronts is terrible. No domination. You have to dominate. Yeah, go ahead, Bill?
Bill Barr: (11:27)
Something the president said reminded me. The reason 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 that when they run into a tough nut, the strong police force and National Guards are looking for secondary targets and cities where they can go on overwhelm the police force. So in several of your states, that’s what we’re hearing. So that’s why it’s so imperative. We can’t wack a mole these people. We have to take out the professional instigators and a leadership group. And the way to do that is to start with a strong statement in the major cities.
Donald Trump: (12:12)
If you’re weak and don’t dominate your streets, they’re going to stay with 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. And they’re [inaudible 00:12:28]. I know you want to say, oh, let’s not call up the guard. Let’s go up 200 people. You’ve got a big National Guard out there that’s ready to come in and fight like hell.
Donald Trump: (12:38)
I tell you, what they did in Minneapolis was incredible. They went in and dominated and it happened immediately. All of a sudden, my wife said to me, “Wow, look at all those people.” They got out. They were wearing dark black uniforms. They got out and they got out and they were there in the thousands and they just walked right down the street, knocking them out with tear gas. Those guys, they were running. And the next night it was much less.
Donald Trump: (13:07)
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 got to arrest these people. You got to arrest these people and you 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 the 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 it. And go back and study Occupy Wall Street because you’ll see the way that ended was the thing of beauty. Everybody said, I can’t believe how easy it was. It was an hour of Bedlam. And when it was all over, it was a beautiful thing. And that’s the way it had to end for you. All right, Secretary of Defense.
Mark Esper: (14:02)
Thank you, Mr. President. I can build on your-
Donald Trump: (14:03)
That’s the end for you. All right, Secretary of Defense.
Mark Esper: (14:03)
Thank you, Mr. President. If I can build on your comments and the Attorney General’s comments, to give some quick stats. Of course, the Department of Defense remains in full support of the state, the states, the governors, the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement. Right now, we have 17,000 folks deployed in the National Guard in 29 states. And I will tell you, the bulk of the states have fewer than 200 people… Fewer than 200 people deployed in the bulk of the states that have called up their guard. So as the President and the AG rightly pointed out, Minneapolis, Minnesota, has done a fantastic job. By Saturday morning, after the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and I spoke to the governor, they increased their presence tenfold. And I think the evidence was clear on Saturday night and Sunday night.
Mark Esper: (14:47)
And so at my urging, I agree, we need to dominate the battle space. You have deep resources in the guard. 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 doing what they need to do. Again, most of the guard has not been called up. There’s only a few states that… I count two states where more than 1000 troops have been called up. I think the sooner that you mass and dominate the battle space, the quicker this dissipates, and we can get back to the right normal.
Donald Trump: (15:18)
I don’t know what it is, politically, when you don’t want to call up people. They’re ready, 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 at certain areas. L.A., we’re shocked that you’re not using the greatest resource you can use, and they’re trained for this stuff, and they’re incredible, but you’re not calling them up. I don’t know, but you’re making a mistake because you’re making yourself look like fools.
Donald Trump: (15:48)
And some have done a great job. A lot of you. It’s not good. It’s very bad for our country. 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.
Donald Trump: (16:07)
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.
Donald Trump: (16:25)
Anybody, it’s… I guess it’s hashtag two, right? Hashtag two, I think. So the governor’s on audio. Governor’s on any… Hashtag two. Anybody want to speak? Brian is up there. Brian, you want to speak? Georgian Brian Kemp?
Brian Kemp: (16:43)
Good morning, Mr. President. I can just give you a quick update. I’ll try to do this as fast as I can, starting with Friday night. We had been talking to the city of Atlanta in preparation to support peaceful protest, but also that the lives and the property of the citizens in Atlanta and around the state of Georgia. But also, we had the mindset to take strong actions against the disruptors. We had 500 guard called up and ready to support, as well as the whole team we had in our state operations center, which we activated. We had the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia National Guard and the Department of Natural Resource team of rangers.
Brian Kemp: (17:29)
And then we used our Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Community Supervision. They all have a post certified offices, too. Those have incident response leaves, as they use to settle a prison disruptions. And those people are really good at doing that. So 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.
Brian Kemp: (18:06)
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 sooner, 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 do this firsthand, but that coordination that we were able to have with the locals, with [inaudible 00:18:33], the state patrol and all our other resources, as well as having a 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 disruptors 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.
Brian Kemp: (19:05)
Just two other things real quick. We did see in Savannah last night, we’re getting intel, but a lot of the instigators in Charleston, South Carolina, on a Saturday night, were coming to Savannah last night. So we were watching for that. We got in place early. So as the Attorney General was correct in saying, we could watch for those folks that you knew were professionals, if you will. We knew that they were [inaudible 00:19:36] office supplies and area parks. 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 [inaudible 00:19:50] those five people, that whole thing down there, I think they only arrested people, and the first person they arrested was from out of state.
Brian Kemp: (19:59)
The last thing I would tell you is the Georgia National Guard Medic Team most likely saved an Atlanta police officer’s life last night, when he got rammed by a disruptor on a four-wheeler. And they put a tourniquet on him and helped get him to the hospital. And it was great to see that. So thank you for your support of the Guard.
Donald Trump: (20:23)
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’s good. That first night was pretty rough. Tim Walz, I don’t know if you’ve left yet for your conference. I know you have a conference. You are the one that did have a conference. Is Tim there? Because I’d like to maybe have him explain the difference between the beginning and the end, and then [crosstalk 00:20:46] Tim, are you there?
Tim Walz: (20:49)
I am. Thank you, Mr. President. I want to give a thank you to secretary [crosstalk 00:20:53] for your strategic guidance. Very helpful. Yeah. Our city is grieving and in pain. And I would just say, as far as… The peaceful protesters are expressing an outrage that is real. They witnessed eight minutes of a man dying in front of them. That part of it then, of course, sparked the civil unrest, where there were actors. And I would like to believe they were from out of state here in Minnesota, but they’re not. They’re home grown. This was an issue that this happened with Minneapolis Police Department. But once that started to spin, the idea that when you saw this happen in the first few days, I don’t believe anybody would have had a big enough force to do this. When we mobilized, then, into Thursday and Friday, I had mobilized… As the President was saying, or Secretary of Defense was saying, about 750 to 1000 is what we could get of National Guard on to the scene.
Tim Walz: (21:54)
It was one of our biggest mobilizations in state history for civil rights or civil disobedience. And we were still overwhelmed. At that point in time, I did something unprecedented. I mobilized the entire Minnesota National Guard, and that’s what the President was alluding to with the size of the force was capable. But I think again, Mr. President… You asked on explaining if I would just say, but things are very difficult. There are bad actors in this, but there’s such a legitimate anger. And here our problem’s going to be, if we cannot maintain this posture, we do not have the resources to maintain the posture, and we’re going to have to transition back.
Tim Walz: (22:29)
Our real dilemma here is, transition back is to the catalyst that spared this across the country. And that was what happened with the Minneapolis Police Department. So we did… A lot of what you saw yesterday was engaging civic leaders and the peaceful protest. And I would just close with, I think the guidance is, you got to get a handle on it with that force. That is absolutely correct. And then the transition to the next stage is trying to get those spaces for the peaceful protest.
Tim Walz: (22:56)
And on that [inaudible 00:22:57] things that we have to look at, of how do we get reforms. And just as a feel good story, that was a tragedy that I’m still sick over that we avoided, was the truck speeding down the highway towards thousands of protesters. At that point in time, you do not know that was a fuel truck, 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, went into that. As you saw, he was pulled out of the vehicle. Some of you recall the horrific events during Rodney King, but the truck driver last night, when… He’s under arrest, but he was interviewed. He said that that crowd, the vast majority of them protected him and pulled him, which deescalated the situation. And as the President said, last night was [crosstalk 00:23:42]. So thank you for that.
Donald Trump: (23:47)
But Tim, it showed the incredible difference between your great state yesterday and the day before, compared to the first few days, which was just [crosstalk 00:23:57].
Tim Walz: (23:57)
Donald Trump: (24:00)
The police force and taking over. And I don’t blame you. I blame the mayor. I’ve never seen anything like it, where the police were told to abandon the police house, and it was ransacked and really destroyed it. Millions and millions of dollars are going to have to go back to fix it. I don’t know. You’ll have [crosstalk 00:24:18].
Tim Walz: (24:21)
If I’m still on, the one thing I would say, I spent 24 years in the guard. So one thing I would say is you could do is, a lot of people don’t understand what the National Guard is. And you need to get out there from a PR perspective and make sure that it’s not seen as an occupying force, but it’s their neighbors, school teachers, business owners, those types of things. That’s a really effective message.
Donald Trump: (24:39)
Okay, good. I think that’s a good idea. I must say, it got so bad a few nights ago, that the people wouldn’t have minded an occupying force. I wish we had an occupying force in that. But for some reason, I don’t know what it is, governors don’t like calling up the guard. We have thousands and thousands of people waiting to be called up. Is that a correct statement, General?
Donald Trump: (25:06)
350,000. We have 350,000 people, and they call up 200. Tim did that the first night, which wasn’t… what happened is after that, he said, let’s go. And I’ll tell you, it was like magic. You saw thousands of people, all of a sudden, one line just walking through this… I said it, it was like a beautiful thing to see. But we have 350,000 plus in the National Guard, and nobody wants to use them. And their cities are ransacked and they’re disgraced all over the world. All over the world, they’re showing it, what happened in Los Angeles with the [inaudible 00:11:44], Philadelphia, 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. All right, thank you very much, Tim. Go ahead next, please. Hashtag two. Any of you want to say something, go ahead, please.
General Milley: (26:09)
So Mr. President, while we wait on the governor [inaudible 00:26:13] what you mentioned about the Guard, we’ve done various studies over the years, of 1960s riots and Rodney King’s also. The introduction of the National Guard, in force, on the streets during civil disobedience, civil rights, civil unrest, proves to be a very calming effect. Mass matters. Numbers matters. And that’s what I just saw in Minnesota. So when I talked to the governor, once I [inaudible 00:26:37] governor, and to his credit, he mobilized the entire Minnesota Guard. Mass matters. And to dominate the battle space, put him in fixed sites, fixed sites security at key points in the ground. And you have the police as mobile forces, who do the arresting and law enforcement. That’s a very effective technique, it’s been used for years. In the past, we have activated a National Guard support of civil authorities, on average for civil disturbances, one every three years, the last 100 years.
General Milley: (27:09)
So it’s a very effective technique, strongly encouraged, to mobilize [inaudible 00:27:14] as many Guard as you think do need in order to establish law and order in various cities. 55 city protests… 54, 55 cities had protests last 24 hours. And 22 of them were violent at moderate to severe levels, but the rest be the rest were peaceful. The rest were peaceful because there was good law and order on the streets. So strongly encourage to use the National Guard, get as many boots on the ground as you can muster.
Donald Trump: (27:45)
So we automatically have our experiment, and that’s, I hate to say it, Minnesota. You had the first part, which was weak and pathetic. And you had the second part, which was domination. And those guys probably have largely left their guns in one of your cities or one of your states because they’re not-
Donald Trump: (28:03)
Your cities or 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. All right, go ahead. Hashtag two, please. Anybody?
Speaker 1: (28:24)
Governor Mills, your line is now open.
Governor Janet Mills : (28:26)
Mr. President, this is Janet Mills, Governor of the great state of Maine. Thank you for the call and the information, and thank you Attorney General Barr, Mr. Secretary and gentlemen. I have two questions or in one comment, perhaps. One is somebody mentioned some 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 for 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.
Governor Janet Mills : (29:06)
We haven’t seen that yet in my state that I know of, but I would love to get the intel, and you appeared to have access to regarding who these individuals are, who are the bad actors and professional instigators.
Governor Janet Mills : (29:19)
Secondly, Attorney General Barr, you mentioned arresting for violations of federal law and charging people federally. I would be interested to know what federal statutes we would rely on for arrests and prosecutions for violations of federal law. Those are my questions. And my comment is Mr. President, I’m very concerned quite frankly that we understand you may be coming to the state of Maine later this week. I’m very concerned that your presence may cause security problems for our state. We don’t have them yet. So I’m concerned about that. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (30:00)
All right. 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 turn that around. Though. If you hear anything, let us know. Report it to the Attorney General.
Governor Janet Mills : (30:30)
Of course. [crosstalk 00:30:30] appropriate person to receive that information. I would really like to have it. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (30:37)
Or by the way, take care of it yourself, because you can prosecute very easily, frankly more easily. But if you prosecute, the level will go down very rapidly. Bill, go ahead.
Bill Barr: (30:49)
Obviously we will be sharing intelligence with all of our state and local partners through the joining terrorist task forces. So anything pertinent to me, we would direct you away through that mechanism. And I know your people are tied into to that. As for federal offenses, there are many different federal offenses that emerge in rioting situations. Two of the most common are anyone who crosses state lines to engage and riot is a federal offense, to incite, participate in, encourage and so forth. Or anyone who uses any interstate facility including telecommunications, vehicles, roads, whatever, in connection with participating and encouraging way. Those are two federal offenses that commonly come into play. But there are many others from destructive devices, and conspiracies, and other things like that.
Donald Trump: (31:53)
So Phil Murphy did a very good job in New Jersey, which is interesting because you had very little problem. You did call up a lot of good law enforcement and you had a lot of good law enforcement, Phil. I think you’re there. Phil Murphy, New Jersey.
Governor Phil Murphy : (32:06)
Mr. President, can you hear me?
Donald Trump: (32:10)
Governor Phil Murphy : (32:12)
Good morning to each of you. Honored to be with you. Yeah, we had about 30 protests over the weekend, and the Attorney General said it exactly right. The biggest one was in Newark, but there were about 30, and we batted 28 out of 30. There was some disturbances in both Atlantic City and Trenton, but by the scales, based on what we see on television, these were well, while unfortunate, were not the scale of that. We’ve got no philosophical issue whatsoever. Due to your enactment of the National Guard, just so happens that so far, the Superintendent of the State Police [inaudible 00:04:52], Pat Callahan, the state police and local police, we’ve been able to [inaudible 00:32:58] is within our range. So far we’ve got about nine, looks like nine more [inaudible 00:05:04] scheduled for today.
Governor Phil Murphy : (33:07)
At least the organizers are explaining these are peaceful in nature. We’re going to make sure we’ll get the police there to ensure that that’s the case, protect the community, a lot of folks to express their protest which we had no issue with. We just want to make sure it’s peaceful. But so far so good, Mr. President [inaudible 00:33:27], but so far so good.
Donald Trump: (33:31)
I appreciate it very much. Really good. And congratulations so far. I have to say so far.
Governor Phil Murphy : (33:37)
Thank you, sir.
Donald Trump: (33:37)
Keep it going. Keep it going.
Donald Trump: (33:39)
Doug Ducey, Arizona, please. Are you there, Doug?
Governor Doug Ducey: (33:43)
Yes. Thank you You asked thank you very much, Mr. President. Yesterday, we met with community 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 our fifth largest metropolitan area in the entire country, and we’ve learned some lessons over the last three days. First, the more aggressive approach does work. We wanted peaceful protesters 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 protester and who was the person that was going to cause trouble, destroy property, or begin violent actions.
Governor Doug Ducey: (34:31)
I put out a statewide emergency yesterday and we put out a statewide curfew for 8:00 PM. 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 protest [inaudible 00:34:53], but in more into Scottsdale was rumored to go to Chandler 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 majors, all of our police chiefs on board, and last night was a very quiet and peaceful night in the state of Arizona.
Donald Trump: (35:17)
That’s what I saw. I saw that, big difference. Good job, Doug. Thank you very much.
Governor Doug Ducey: (35:23)
Donald Trump: (35:26)
Great job. Big difference. All right. John Bel Edwards. John Bel, are you there?
Governor John Bel Edwards: (35:30)
Mr. President, first of all, 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 based community primarily, but also leaders across the state of Louisiana. We’ve been able to respond thus far with the State Police departments, the Sheriff’s offices of the various parishes, and the State Police.
Governor John Bel Edwards: (36:03)
Obviously we have the National Guard here and can use them if necessary. We have, and configuratively was a benefit for us, we went through, in 2016, several weeks of very heavy protests, almost all of which were peaceful, and so we’ve kept up those communications with the various communities, and thus far we’re in good shape. [inaudible 00:36:29] And we know that in 2016, most of the problems came from people who were bused in from out of state. It was not local homegrown folks who were the most violent and extremist on our streets. And so that’s where we can 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 Mr. Attorney General, if you pick up on information like that, that would be very helpful if you would share it with.
Donald Trump: (37:08)
Good. I appreciate that very much. Likewise though, if you have that information as to groups. We had information last night, we got it, where they’re going to be loading a certain state. They’re going to be loading. It’s like a military operation, a certain state. 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 be [inaudible 00:00:37:32]. Thanks very much, John Bel.
Governor John Bel Edwards: (37:34)
Donald Trump: (37:36)
Larry Hogan, please, Maryland, Larry Hogan.
Governor Larry Hogan: (37:40)
Mr. President, thank you very much. First of all, I want to thank you for agreeing to our request on extending 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.
Governor Larry Hogan: (38:07)
The city police in Baltimore were somewhat overwhelmed, but within a matter of hours, we sent in 4,000 members of the National Guard and a thousand additional police officers. We outnumbered the protestors and immediately calmed down the violence after the first few hours, and then just allow peaceful protests for the rest of the week. And I think that’s what was not happening in some of the cities, and I agree with kind of peace through strength. I think bringing up enough manpower, not letting anybody be overpowered the way they have been the past few days is exactly the right thing. And we’ve got 1300 members of the Guard called up now. We haven’t had any issues or problems yet. It’s been mostly peaceful, I think because they’re at this point maybe afraid to take action in Baltimore, but we’re watching to see if it breaks out again.
Governor Larry Hogan: (38:54)
But I had a call with many of the governors. I’ve been talking with all of them across the country. And everybody’s saying the same thing about these out of town agitators. It seems to be very organized. And so the discussion that the Attorney General is talking about, the crossing state lines, federal crimes, the sharing of information and intelligence is critically important to all the governors. It’s something 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 these kinds of things. So federal charges with U.S. attorneys going to federal court, sharing of intelligence, all of that I think is very, very helpful though though to governors. So we appreciate all the efforts. Thank you very much.
Donald Trump: (39:46)
Thank you very much, Larry. They are professional anarchists in many cases, and they’re leading a group of a lot more people than them, and these are easily led people, but they’re professional anarchists.
Governor Larry Hogan: (39:56)
And I’ll just point out Mr. President, we had those in Baltimore in 2015. This is not new. Like you pointed out, Occupy Wall Street. We had a lot of peaceful demonstrators back in 2015. I’d only been Governor for 90 days, but troublemakers were all from out of town, all organized professional agitators. I don’t know if it was the same group or different groups, but they were former Occupy Wall Street folks back then. So they’ve just continued to hone their craft and get better [inaudible 00:12:26].
Donald Trump: (40:26)
That’s right. And you know, when they have bricks. 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 because you don’t have to have a brick hit 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, and perhaps he’ll stop me from saying that, but I would think, Bill, that if a brick is thrown at somebody and it hits him, or maybe if it doesn’t hit 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.
Donald Trump: (41:04)
I saw what they did to the kid in Dallas, and that was a disgrace. That was a disgrace. That should have been stopped. I’ve never seen anybody take such 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 that. Nobody talks about it. Nobody even mentions it. But all of that stuff, it can’t happen, 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. There are only so-
Governor Larry Hogan: (41:35)
We don’t want to be on television again. But yeah, 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 troops, people start to scatter.
Donald Trump: (42:00)
Well, thank you very much, Larry. That’s good. Hashtag two if anyone wants-
Donald Trump: (42:03)
Well, thank you very much, Larry. That’s good. #2 if anyone wants to call in. #2.
Governor Polis. Go ahead.
Governor Jim Justice: (42:14)
Mr. President, can you hear me? It’s Jim Justice in West Virginia.
Donald Trump: (42:17)
Yes, I can, Jim.
Governor Jim Justice: (42:19)
All I would say to you is if it comes to pass, if some states would rather you didn’t come there, you can come to West Virginia because you’re a blooming 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 welcomed them, but absolutely we’re not going to have a problem here because first and foremost, I’m not going to put up with it. There’s no way. There is no way. Instantaneously we’ll call in the guard or do whatever we’ve got to do, but I am just exactly like you and I’m not going to put up with this.
Donald Trump: (43:01)
Well, that sounds a lot different than the governor of Maine. That’s very good. She tried to talk me out of it. Now I think she probably talked me into it. She just doesn’t understand me very well, but that’s okay. Thank you 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 burnings. I’m not a believer in flag burning. And I would think that if a state wanted to try and pass a law that 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 that 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 what a lot of people want. It passed five to four, and we have a different court.
Donald Trump: (43:57)
And I think that it’s time to review that again, because when I see flags being burned, they wanted to crawl up flag piles in Washington and try and burn flags, but we stopped them. They weren’t able to do it, but they would have done it if we didn’t stop them. I think it’s time to re-look 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, 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. Okay? I hope some of you do it. All right, go ahead. #2 please.
Governor Polis, your line is open.
Governor Polis: (44:47)
Hey, this is Jared Polis. Am I on? What? In Colorado, we wondered if this is effective. We were able to use the National Guard in their very amazing function. I want to thank you for renewing their service. As you know, they get beyond the 89 days, they get the benefit. So we owe that to them. They’re testing for coronavirus, defending our city. It’s all incredibly important. I just want to add the public health side to this. One of the things we did is we distributed masks to some of the peaceful protesters. I don’t know if others had that experience. But obviously we’re concerned with the size of the gatherings, some were doing social distance, some weren’t, but encouraging that message. We are all community testing, it’s freely available. We extend criteria, anybody who went to the peaceful protest can get tested next weekend until after the incubation period.
Governor Polis: (45:44)
But we’re all worried, Mr. President, that this could be some kind of setback to the reopening and to everything going on because you had tens of thousands of people, some of which were doing social distancing, some of which weren’t, but I just wanted to encourage others to provide masks, offer testing, all of those things to the peaceful protesters. Obviously where we’re using the National Guard in protecting our holdings and we just had a handful of arrests. We didn’t see a large scale infiltration, but we did see some people that wanted to use these protests to further their own agenda of anarchy or whatever it is. And you do find some bad folks in there too. So I just wanted to pass along the public health piece and encourage everybody to be responsible on that side too.
Donald Trump: (46:25)
Thank you very much, governor. Thank you. It was great to have you at the White House last week too. Henry McMaster. I think I hear Henry McMaster on the line. He’s talking to his people, which I think is much more important than talking to us, Henry, because I know what you’re doing. You’re getting them ready. You’re getting them ready. Yes, sir, go ahead.
Governor McMaster: (46:43)
Thank you, Mr. President. I plugged in to what you were saying, and also what the attorney general was saying. It seems listening to the governors in telephone calls, those were the days. And also what we’ve been saying today is I don’t think we’re prosecuting enough people. It seems-
Donald Trump: (46:59)
Governor McMaster: (47:01)
… these folks, they’re just getting a 30 days or $500. That’s just the cost of doing business. We know that we have organized people. We’re trying to figure out if we’ve got some here. We think maybe we do, but we have a state grand jury that’s just like the federal grand. They tend to act as they can and bring them before that grand jury, where we can investigate using the tools of the grand jury. We talked to our US Attorney receiving the call, but everybody was on board and we really had a model thing happen in the city of Charleston. The first night, they had one approach with a late 11 o’clock curfew. Henry, they had a whole lot of violence. They were taking, I guess you’d say a less confrontational approach and they had a lot of damage on King Street, beautiful place. People were busting out windows in restaurants, throwing in big fire crackers landing on the tables of diners and that because there was no curfew. The diners were still there and it was scaring everybody.
Governor McMaster: (48:07)
They were running out. We had one fella who pulled out a pistol, a civilian in the hotel, and was shot, five shots in the head of skill. Some of the agitators, they are, a lot of them are from outside. There’s no doubt about it. They’re calling this Antifa, or whatever you call it. We had arrested one man in Colombia, and he had a Glock pistol in a knapsack and 90 rounds of ammunition. Of course, we’ve got him locked up now and hope to be able to get some information from him. But I think what you’re saying is right, is we have to make it more difficult. We’ve got to take these people out, give them justice, make it more than just the cost of doing business to come into one town, get arrested, pay bonds, and go to another town and do the same thing.
Governor McMaster: (48:58)
We had law enforcement everywhere from Department of Corrections, Probation, Pardon, the state law enforcement division, the city police. We had county Sheriffs coming in from adjoining counties. And in Charleston, we had the National Guard there on Sunday night, last night, and they had virtually no problems. The national guard, the sheriff there, Al Cannon says he’s never seen such a police presence in his life. And it worked like a charm. I think it was just a handful of arrests. There was no damage. They had five Humvees rolling around the city of Charleston. It was very peaceful. So, strength works. You have to dominate, as you said. And I think now is really the time to get serious about prosecuting these people, finding out where their organizations are, who’s paying the money. We knew that some of them get a bonus if they get arrested. They were putting out their hands to get arrested. They wanted to. The police were telling them to get out of there. They didn’t want to arrest them. So that’s the state of it. I think we have to be careful, but we’ve got to be tough.
Donald Trump: (50:05)
You don’t have to be. And I’ll tell you, you have to do the prosecutions. If you don’t do the prosecutions, it’s just going to be back. Whether it’s in two years or two months, they’re going to be back and you’ve got to do the prosecutions. When somebody’s throwing a rock, that’s like shooting a gun. What’s the difference between having a brick that weighs 10 pounds hit somebody in the face and wipe them out practically. We had a couple of 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 maybe for that. But you have great legal systems. Everybody I’m speaking to. But if you want this to stop, you have to do that. But you have to prosecute people, Henry, you’re right. Thank you very much.
Governor McMaster: (50:52)
Donald Trump: (51:02)
Thanks, Henry. Thanks. # 2.
Please go ahead. Your line is now open.
Governor Pritzker: (51:09)
Mr. President, can you hear me? This is Governor Pritzker.
Donald Trump: (51:14)
I can hear you. Not great, but I can hear you.
Governor Pritzker: (51:17)
You can’t hear me good. Thank you. [inaudible 00:51:22].
Donald Trump: (51:25)
That’s quite the snowfall. Is that J.B.? Are you on your cell phone maybe? We’re not hearing you great.
Governor Pritzker: (51:34)
Can you hear me okay? I’m sorry, can you hear me, Mr. President?
Donald Trump: (51:41)
Governor Pritzker: (51:41)
Thank you. I wanted to keep this moment, I can’t let it pass, to speak up and say that I’ve been extraordinarily concerned about the rhetoric that’s been used by you. It’s been inflammatory and it’s not okay for that officer to choke George Floyd to death, but we have to call for calm. We have to have police reform called for. We called out our National Guard and our state police, but rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse. And I need to say to you that people are feeling real pain out there, that we’ve got to have national leadership in calling for calm and making sure that we’re addressing the concerns of the legitimate peaceful protesters. That will help us to bring order.
Donald Trump: (52:37)
Okay. Well thank you very much, J.B. I don’t like your rhetoric much either because I watched it with respect to the coronavirus, and I don’t like your rhetoric much either. I think you could have done a much better job frankly, but that’s okay. We don’t agree with each other. As far as the [inaudible 00:52:53] with respect to George Floyd, in respect to Officer Floyd, I’ve spoken about it often and I’ve spoken about it with great compassion that I think is a horrible thing that happened and I’ve called it out on numerous occasions in numerous speeches. I even spoke about it at our great rocket launch. I covered it before I covered the rocket. We just sent out a billion dollar rocket, and before I spoke about the rocket in a major speech after the rocket launch, I spoke as to what happened with respect to Mr. Floyd. I thought it was a disgrace. I feel like what happened was a disgrace, but I spoke about it probably as long as I did about the rocket itself. And those police officers, what they did, including the three of them that stood there and watched and maybe even participated, the whole world was disgraced by it, not just our country and the whole world was watching. So nobody can tell me I haven’t spoken about it. I’ve spoken about it at great length, but I will continue to speak about it. But I also have to speak 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. Okay, who’s next please. #2. #2 please.
We have no one in queue at this time.
Donald Trump: (54:28)
Okay. I want to thank everyone. Be strong, be tough, be smart, be safe. Be safe, very important. And we honor many people and we have to do it right, many, many people. We honor, as you know, Mr. Floyd, but we honor many other people that have been badly hurt and killed. And the way we’re going to do it and the way we’re going to solve 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 found out. Too many as a good thing. Too few is unacceptable. So go out there and get them. Good luck tonight. And if you have any information, let us know please. Thank you very much.
That concludes our conference. Thank you to all of our speakers and thank you all in the audience for joining us today. Again, this call is not intended for press purposes, and is off the record. The call has concluded. You may disconnect.