War of words between Trump, Minneapolis mayor

The president called Mayor Jacob Frey "weak" on Twitter, to which the mayor responded, saying President Trump knew "nothing about the strength of Minneapolis."
3:35 | 05/30/20

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Transcript for War of words between Trump, Minneapolis mayor
the distance smoldering as they prepare for another night. President trump explaining his words after using the phrase, when the looting starts the shooting starts. The president saying he did not know the history of the phrase and his explanation comes after Joe Biden delivers his message to the nation and his reaction to the president's words. Here's Jonathan Karl tonight. Thank you very much. Thank you. Reporter: President trump called a press conference today, but abruptly walked without saying a single word about the growing anger over the death of George Floyd. But overnight, just before 1:00 A.M. With the streets of Minneapolis ablaze, he seemed to call for violence, tweeting, these thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. He said the military was ready, adding, quote, any difficulty, we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. And with that the president echoed a phrase with a racist past, one used in the late 1960s by Miami's then police chief who called for violence against African-American rioters. The president also took aim at Minneapolis' mayor, calling him the very weak radical left mayor, Jacob Frey. The mayor responded in a middle of the night news conference. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Reporter: Twitter declared the president's tweet about shooting looters a violation of its rules against glorifying violence. The president tried to get around that by posting the same words on the white house's official Twitter account. Twitter marked that tweet, too. Meanwhile, Joe Biden addressed the country with live remarks from his home, saying he had spoken to George Floyd's family. We see plainly that we're a country with an open wound. And none of us can turn away. None of us can be silent. None of us can any longer -- can we hear the words, I can't breathe, and do nothing. Reporter: Biden then condemned the president's tweets. This is no time for incendiary treats tweets. It's no time to encourage violence. This is a national crisis. We need real leadership right now. Reporter: Former president Obama also weighed in, saying, quote, for millions of Americans being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly normal. Adding the country needs to move on to "A new normal in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts." And late this afternoon, the current president finally addressing cameras saying he too had spoken to the family of George Floyd. I just expressed my sorrow. That was a horrible thing to witness and to watch, and it would certainly look like there was no excuse for it. Jon, late today the president tried to clarify the tweets overnight? Reporter: Just a short while ago the president said he did not know the racist history of the phrase, when the looting starts the shooting starts. He said what he meant to say was not to encourage violence against looters but when you have looting like last night, people get shot. Most people did not interpret the president's words that way and it took him some 13 hours to clarify he was not calling for the shooting of looters. David? Jon Karl with us on a Friday thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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