By Chandelis Duster, CNN
Updated 11:57 AM ET, Sun May 31, 2020
Washington (CNN)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.
CNN reached out to the White House for response to Bottoms’ comments on Sunday.
The Atlanta mayor also told Tapper she is extremely concerned about people gathering to protest amid the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted life in the US. There are more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of the virus in the US and at least 103,800 people have died as of Sunday morning, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
“I am extremely concerned when we are seeing mass gatherings. We know what’s already happening in our community with this virus,” she said. “We’re going to see — we’re going to see the other side of this in a couple of weeks.” She added, ” We are losing sight of so many things right now.”