Political News

Atlanta mayor on Trump: 'He should just stop talking'

Posted May 31, 2020 10:30 a.m. EDT

— Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Sunday rebuked Donald Trump's rhetoric amid days of protests after the death of George Floyd, saying the President "is making it worse" and is stoking racial tensions.

"He should just stop talking. This is like Charlottesville all over again," Bottoms told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "He speaks and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet and I wish that he would just be quiet. Or if he can't be silent, if there is somebody of good sense and good conscience in the White House, put him in front of a teleprompter and pray he reads it and at least says the right things, because he is making it worse."

Her remarks come amid ongoing protests across the country over the death of Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died after he was pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer. In a series of tweets on Friday, Trump called protestors "THUGS" adding, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," a phrase with racist origins used by a former Miami police chief in the late 1960s in the wake of protests.

Bottoms, a former judge and city council member, was sworn in as mayor in 2018 and has quickly emerged as one of the Democratic Party's rising stars. On Friday night, amid a swirl of increasingly tense and occasionally violent scenes, she faced the cameras, her constituents -- and the country.

"I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old. And when I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt," Bottoms said. "And yesterday when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and I said, 'Where are you?' I said, 'I cannot protect you and black boys shouldn't be out today.'"

She stopped for a moment, pursed her lips, and then delivered a frank and personal message.

"So, you're not going to out-concern me and out-care about where we are in America," Bottoms said. "I wear this each and every day, and I pray over my children, each and every day."

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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