President Donald Trump is saying no more.
With a portion of Seattle still under the control of anti-police protesters, Trump told Fox News on Thursday that if the city’s government doesn’t get the situation under control, then he will.
Referencing the so-called “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” Trump told Fox’s Harris Faulker that he is “not going to let Seattle be occupied by anarchists,” as the network reported.
“If there were more toughness, you wouldn’t have the kind of devastation that you had in Minneapolis and in Seattle,” Trump said, according to Fox. “I mean, let’s see what’s going on in Seattle. I will tell you, if they don’t straighten that situation out, we’re going to straighten it out.”
Out of control
The president’s remarks came from an exclusive interview that aired Friday afternoon. One of the items discussed was the current situation in Seattle, where a six-block area in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood has been usurped by protesters, who have declared it a “cop-free zone,” according to Fox.
The move comes in response to the recent death of 46-year-old George Floyd, a black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police late last month.
Thus far, Seattle’s government has been unable to get the situation under control — and it looks like Trump is ready to pick up the slack. While speaking about the situation, the president leveled criticism at Seattle’s mayor, Democrat Jenny Durkan, whose response he called “pathetic,” according to Fox.
“The woman, I don’t know, has she ever done this before? It was pathetic,” Trump said, according to National Review. “We’re not going to let this happen in Seattle.”
The president also called on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) to step up and get the job done. “He’s got great National Guard troops so he can do it,” Trump told Faulkner, according to Fox. “But one way or the other, it’s going to get done. These people are not going to occupy a major portion of a great city.”
The president, a day earlier, issued a similar message on Twitter, writing:
Radical Left Governor [Jay Inslee] and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!
Washington state responds
Both Mayor Durkan and Gov. Inslee have since issued responses to the president’s ultimatum.
“We do not need anyone, including the president, to try to sow further divide, further distrust, and misinformation,” Durkan said at a recent news conference, according to The Washington Post. “The threat to invade Seattle, to divide and incite violence in our city is not only unwelcome, it would be illegal.”
Durkan added that “lawfully gathering and expressing First Amendment rights, demanding we do better as a society, and providing true equity for communities of color is not terrorism; it is patriotism.”
The governor, meanwhile, has said on Twitter that “a man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business,” according to The Washington Post.