(WISCONSIN) — In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, President Trump continues to stoke anger and violence, calling for military action against American citizens exercising their first amendment rights as they call for justice. Gov. Tony Evers understands that the Trump Administration is not going to take the lead in uniting the country, expressing dismay at the president’s inability to bring people together during this crisis.
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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday he was stunned by President Donald Trump’s push to crack down on protesters and didn’t think the president was capable of calming the nation at a time of crisis.
In a video chat with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editors and reporters, the Democratic governor said the Republican president should try to soothe the country after a week of strife sparked by a Minneapolis police officer killing George Floyd.
“I don’t think those words could come out of his mouth so I’m not waiting for that to happen,” Evers said.
The public needs to come up with solutions without the president’s help, Evers said. He criticized Trump for having police disperse peaceful protesters with chemical agents so he could pose with a Bible at St. John’s Church near the White House.
“He needs to calm the country rather than inflame it and I think his efforts the other day where he had to clear out several thousand appropriately protesting people, people protesting between him and a place where he wanted to have a photo op, I mean that just defies logic,” Evers said.
“So I’m not sure he’s capable of (calming the nation), but we’re not going to wait for him to take the lead. Each governor and frankly each Wisconsinite needs to take this seriously and we’ll move forward without his calming influence.”
Evers was on a call with other governors this week in which Trump said most governors were weak and needed to arrest more people.
“Listening to the president talk about this took my breath away,” Evers said. “It made me sad as an American. … It took my breath away as a governor, basically talking about essentially taking over the streets without any comment about, well, you know, 95% of the people that are out there exercising First Amendment rights are doing it in a way that is appropriate. It was about how we’re going to crack down and make sure this goes away before — he didn’t say this — but before November.”