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Republican governor says Trump sending opposite message of one that should come from White House

Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) said President Trump’s response to the protests breaking out in response to George Floyd’s death is the opposite of the message the White House should be sending. 

“I think one of the most important things that a leader can do right now, and I went through this in 2015 during the riots in Baltimore, one of my primary focuses was to try to lower the temperature,” Hogan said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

“And that’s not helpful it’s not lowering the temperature,” he said, referring to Trump’s tweets and comments in response to the protests. “It’s sort of continuing to escalate the rhetoric. I think it’s just the opposite of the message that should have been coming out of the White House.” 

Trump said protesters in Minneapolis, where Floyd died after an arrest, were “THUGS” that were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd.” 

He added that, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” referencing a phrase used by Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in 1967 during the civil rights movement. 

Trump later told reporters he wasn’t aware of the origins of the phrase and that he heard it from “other places.” 

Trump also warned that if protesters near the White House came close to breaching the fence, “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

In addition to responding to Trump’s response, Hogan said he would advise leaders in other states to “not let the situation get out of control.”

Hogan spoke about his experience handling the 2015 riots in Baltimore, in response to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was arrested and fell into a coma while being transported in a police van. 

“Our theory was peace through strength,” Hogan said. 

The governor said officials “successfully”’ stopped violence in “a few hours” but let peaceful protests go on for a week. 

The Justice Department announced in 2017 that six Baltimore officers would face no federal charges in Gray’s death. 

Four officers were fired after a video was released of Floyd’s arrest, which showed one officer kneeling on Floyd as he said he could not breathe. He died shortly after. 

That officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder.

Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller

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