This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns:
On June 1, the day after Biden’s outing to downtown Wilmington, Trump convened the nation’s governors on a call. It was ostensibly one of the state executives’ weekly gatherings to discuss the coronavirus with the administration, but when the governors logged on that Monday it was immediately clear they were in for a different kind of meeting. Trump was on the call, joined by a team of advisers that included Bill Barr, the attorney general, and Mark Esper, the secretary of defense.
Savaging the racial-justice protesters around the country as “terrorists,” Trump urged the governors to exact “retribution” while demanding a swift return to public order. Esper, a buttoned-down West Point graduate and former Raytheon executive, advised the governors that they should seek to “dominate the battlespace” in their states. In the Rose Garden later that day, Trump threatened to deploy federal troops if the governors did not move swiftly enough.
The executives were in shock. Up early at the governor’s residence in Salem, Oregon, the Democratic governor, Kate Brown, called out to her husband in a nearby room: You’ve got to hear what this guy is saying.
“You can’t make this shit up,” Brown remembers telling her husband. “You cannot believe that this is happening in the United States of America.”
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