Atlanta mayor says Trump should 'stop talking' about protests: 'This is like Charlottesville all over again'

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance BottomsKeisha Lance BottomsAn exhausting year takes toll on nation's mayors Why won't the national media cover the story Americans care about most? Students sue Atlanta police after being shocked with a stun gun, pulled from car MORE (D) said President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE should stop commenting on the protests sweeping the nation in response to the death of George Floyd, arguing that the president is making the situation worse.

“He should just stop talking. This is like Charlottesville all over again,” Bottoms said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referencing the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally and counterprotest in Virginia after which Trump said there were "very fine people on both sides." 

“He speaks and he makes it worse,” she added. “There are times when you should just be quiet, and I wish that he would just be quiet.”

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If Trump can’t stay silent, she said, “if there’s somebody of good sense and good conscience in the White House, put him in front of a teleprompter and pray that he reads it and at least says the right things.” 

Protests have swept the country, including in the city Bottoms serves, since video surfaced on a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, an unarmed black man, until Floyd loses consciousness. Floyd was pronounced dead soon after.

In response to protests in Minneapolis, Trump tweeted, that “these THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd.”

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He added that, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” 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.” 

The officer who knelt on Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.