President Trump tells governors to 'dominate' protesters and 'put them in jail for 10 years'
1 June 2020, 19:10 | Updated: 1 June 2020, 21:18
President Trump has told state governors to "dominate" protesters and "put people in jail for 10 years" amid ongoing unrest following the death of George Floyd.
The protests erupted after Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
Speaking in a video teleconference call, the president told governors: "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.
"Most of you are weak. You've got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you'll never see this stuff again.
"We're doing it in Washington, DC. We're going to do something that people haven't seen before."
The audio, which was obtained by CBS News, shows that the call was also attended by law enforcement and national security officials.
Trump also told governors: "You’re making a mistake because you're making yourselves look like fools. And some have done a great job. But a lot of you, it’s not – it’s not a great day for our country.
"You know when other countries watch this, they’re watching this, the next day wow, they’re really a push over. And we can’t be a push over. And we have all the resources – it’s not like we don’t have the resources.
"So, I don’t know what you’re doing."
He also advised governors to bring in the National Guard.
It follows days of protest across the US, which led to President Trump spending time in the White House bunker after protestors were throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades outside the building.
Mr Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker, which was designed for use in emergencies like terrorist attacks, according to a Republican close to the White House who was not authorised to publicly discuss it and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The demonstrations in Washington turned violent and appeared to catch officers by surprise, sparking one of the highest alerts on the White House complex since the September 11 attacks in 2001 .
Many American cities have seen mass demonstrations against police brutality in recent days.
The officer in question, Derek Chauvin, has since been fired from the force and was charged with third degree murder four days after Mr Floyd's death.