Politics

'Domination': Trump thanks self in tweet, takes credit for curbing DC, Minnesota protests over George Floyd death

Key Points
  • President Trump thanked himself on Twitter for the "Domination" and 'overwhelming force" that kept relative peace on the streets of Washington and Minneapolis the previous night.
  • Scores of American cities have seen protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden condemned Trump for having police violently clear an area around the White House so that the president could stage a photo op with a Bible in his hands outside a historic church.
Riot police chase a man as they rush protestors to clear Lafayette Park and the area around it across from the White House for President Donald Trump to be able to walk through for a photo opportunity in front of St. John's Episcopal Church, during a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, near the White House, in Washington, U.S. June 1, 2020.
Ken Cedeno | Reuters

President Donald Trump personally thanked himself Tuesday on Twitter for what he said was the "Domination" and "overwhelming force" that kept relative peace on the streets of Washington and Minneapolis the previous night after days of protests over the death of George Floyd.

Trump's boast came a day after police violently cleared the area of protesters in front of the White House with tear gas, flash grenades and batons so that the president could walk out and pose for photos at the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church.

Trump held a Bible aloft as cameras captured images of him standing grim-faced in front of the historic church, where priests and other religious workers were forced to flee the area by the authorities' actions. Part of the church had been set on fire by protesters the previous night.

VIDEO1:1801:18
Trump visits St. John's Episcopal Church, which was set on fire last night

"D.C. had no problems last night. Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!)," he tweeted.

Before his church visit Monday, Trump had announced that he was mobilizing federal resources — civilian and military — to respond to the protests. He said that if any city or state refused to take steps to defend lives and property, he would deploy the U.S. military to those areas.

U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House after posing with a bible outside St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Shawn Thew | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In another Twitter post Tuesday, Trump criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his brother, CNN journalist Chris Cuomo. 

Trump suggested that violence and looting seen on the streets of New York City on Monday night was the result of the governor's failure to accept the president's offer to deploy the National Guard.

"Yesterday was a bad day for the Cuomo Brothers. New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum," Trump wrote.

"The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces. Likewise, Fredo's ratings are down 50%!" Fredo was the inept Corleone brother played in "The Godfather."

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, criticized Trump's response Tuesday morning.

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Biden: We're the only nation that goes through crisis and comes out better

"When peaceful protestors are dispersed by the order of the president from the doorstep of the people's house, the White House — using tear gas and flash grenades — in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle," Biden said.

The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, said in an interview with The Washington Post that despite her position she "was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop."

"He did not pray," Budde told The New York Times.

"He did not mention George Floyd, he did not mention the agony of people who have been subjected to this kind of horrific expression of racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years. We need a president who can unify and heal. He has done the opposite of that, and we are left to pick up the pieces."

Later Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr issued a statement saying, "Last night was a more peaceful night in the District of Columbia. Working together, federal and local law enforcement made significant progress in restoring order to the nation's capital."

"There will be even greater law enforcement resources and support in the region tonight," Barr said. "The most basic function of government is to provide security for people to live their lives and exercise their rights, and we will meet that responsibility here in the nation's capital."

Protests over Floyd's death have taken place in many U.S. cities since he died on Memorial Day during an arrest by Minneapolis police.

Floyd, who was black, died while a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, despite him repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe." Police were arresting him on suspicion of using a $20 counterfeit bill to make a purchase.

The police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder in the killing. He and the three other officers were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department after video of the arrest became public and sparked the protests.

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Protests continue across U.S. as President Trump threatens to deploy military

During a conference call on Monday morning, Trump accused governors of being "weak" in responding to the protests.

"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," he told them.

"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."

Two Democratic governors, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer, condemned the president's rhetoric.

Pritzker told Trump on the call that his words have "been inflammatory" and are making the situation surrounding Floyd's death "worse."

Whitmer said in a statement after the call, "The president's dangerous comments should be gravely concerning to all Americans, because they send a clear signal that this administration is determined to sow the seeds of hatred and division, which I fear will only lead to more violence and destruction."