'Their heads will spin': Trump urges governors to 'dominate the streets' with military forces to end protests

'We're getting our jobs back,' president says, taking a victory lap based on a single jobs report

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Friday 05 June 2020 17:00 BST
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Donald Trump used the hawkish language of his embattled defence secretary, Mark Esper, calling on governors to "dominate the streets" and put down protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

The president, while taking a victory lap in the Rose Garden at the White House, told governors that using National Guard forces would end the protests "so fast their heads will spin."

Mr Trump used a hastily arranged press conference on a surprisingly positive jobs report to jump from topic to topic, essentially declaring the economy healed after it cratered during the pandemic with a high unemployment rate and predictions of a 20 per cent rate on Friday. But the Labor Department announced the rate dropped to 13.3 per cent from 14.7 last month. But he spoke very little about Mr Floyd or black American's frustrations with how they feel they are treated by police departments.

"We had the greatest economy ... in the world," Mr Trump said. "We're getting our jobs back."

Mr Trump contended future economic data and jobs reports could be even better because "big" states like New York and California "are still closed." He described re-opened states like Florida and Georgia as "doing tremendous business."

"And business is what these numbers are all about," he said of the job figures, even as there are now 1.8m known Covid-19 cases in America with at least 108,000 deaths.

But the president also touched on protests across the country, which sometimes have grown violent. He again urged state and local leaders to use National Guard forces to quell any violence, or perhaps even peaceful protests.

He said once officials in Minneapolis did that last weekend, violence there stopped.

"They were ripping that place apart. We has such success there," he said of the National Guard getting involved. "In one night, it was over. You don't see the problem in Minnesota. Not at all. It was under siege."

Larry Kudlow, Mr Trump's top economic adviser, said the jobs data is reflective of businesses beginning to bring back laid off and furloughed workers. He predicted 20 per cent economic growth in the next two quarters of the year, just in time for November's presidential election.

Despite the seemingly revived economy, Mr Trump announced he intends to seek additional economic stimulus legislation from Congress. Talks towards another bill, however, have stalled.

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