Gov. McMaster on call with President Trump: “I think we have to be careful, but we have to be tough”

Charleston County News

FILE (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – On Monday, President Trump held a conference call with state governors, during which he admonished state responses to protests, some which devolved into violence and rioting, over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of a law enforcement officer.

Audio of the call obtained by multiple outlets revealed that President Trump criticized governors for being too soft when dealing with violent protesters.

When Governor Henry McMaster spoke, he agreed, saying “I don’t think we’re prosecuting enough people.” He also felt like a tougher response was needed, saying “these folks are getting 30 days or $500, that’s just the cost of doing business.”

He said that a more hardline approach was beneficial to maintaining orderly protests in Charleston over the weekend, noting that “on the first night they had one approach, with a late 11:00 p.m. curfew, and they had a whole lot of violence, they were taking, I guess you could say, a less confrontational approach.” On Sunday night, Governor McMaster said that there were “virtually no problems” because “we had law enforcement everywhere,” including the National Guard.

Governor McMaster referenced Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon, who said that he had never seen such a law enforcement presence in his life. Governor McMaster said that the large presence “worked like a charm…just a handful of arrests, no damage…very peaceful.”

To conclude, Governor McMaster said that “we have to be careful, but we have to be tough.”

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