Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Friday that President Trump’s tweets about shooting looters were “not helpful” as officials try to quell rioting over the police killing of an unarmed black man.
“In the moment where we’re at, in a moment that is so volatile, anything we do to add fuel to that fire is really, really challenging,” Mr. Walz, a Democrat, said of the president’s overnight tweeting. “It’s just not helpful.”
The president spoke by phone with the governor overnight as demonstrators looted stores and burned businesses in Minneapolis. Mr. Trump tweeted after the phone call that he wouldn’t allow “thugs” to destroy a great American city.
“He pledged his support of anything we needed,” Mr. Walz said. “There’s a way to do this without inflaming.”
The governor early Friday morning activated the National Guard to help restore order.
Mr. Trump also tweeted that Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey was a “very weak Radical Left Mayor,” and urged him to “get his act together and bring the City under control.”
Mr. Frey responded Friday, “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis.”
The president clarified his comments later Friday, saying on Twitter, “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night — or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means.”
One man was shot to death during the unrest on Wednesday night in Minneapolis, apparently not by police. Other demonstrators in Louisville, Kentucky, were shot in a separate protest.
The president added that his comment on looters being shot “was spoken as a fact, not as a statement.”
“It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!” he said.