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Trump urges US governors to crack down on protesters: media reports

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – President Donald Trump told US governors on Monday (June 1) in an appeal that their response to nationwide protests looked weak and that they needed to take a harder stance, according to media reports.

“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate, you are wasting your time. They will overwhelm you, you will look like a bunch of acorns. You must dominate,” Trump said, according to CBS News, citing the audio obtained.

Trump threatened to become tough himself and “activate” US Attorney General Bill Barr, according to CBS. He urged governors to seek retribution, make sweeping arrests, and pass laws against flaming flags, CBS and the New York Times reported.

White House representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the call after violent protests permeated peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody in Minneapolis last week.

Several news reports said that Democratic Governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, told Trump that his rhetoric made an unstable situation worse and drew a reply from the Republican president.

Trump hasn’t made a big public statement since Floyd died last week, but has released multiple tweets that call for a tough response.

Barr, who was scheduled to meet Trump at the White House earlier on Monday, was also in attendance, the Wall Street Journal said.

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