Illinois governor immediately confronted Trump over his 'inflammatory' rhetoric during call

Illinois governor immediately confronted Trump over his 'inflammatory' rhetoric during call
Lt. Col. Bradford Leighton / Public domain

In leaked audio obtained by CNN, President Donald Trump can be heard lambasting governors during a teleconference call on Monday — slamming them as “weak” for not doing more to bring protestors under control and not encouraging more arrests. Trump stressed that he wanted governors to “dominate” protestors. But Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker did not take it lying down.

Pritzker, according to the Chicago-Sun Times, asserted that he is “extraordinarily concerned about the rhetoric that’s been used” by Trump following protests in response to the killing of African-American Minneapolis resident George Floyd on May 25.

The Illinois governor told Trump, “It’s been inflammatory, and it’s not OK 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’ve called out our National Guard and our state police, but the rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse. And I need to say that people are feeling real pain out there. And 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.”

Trump told Pritzker, “OK, well thank you very much, J.B. I don’t like your rhetoric very 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.”

In addition to Trump and the governors, the teleconference call included Attorney General William Barr and Army General Mark Milley.

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