Donald Trump demanded 'law and order' and told Democratic mayors and governors to 'get tough' yesterday as the president remained sheltered in the White House while riots continued across the US.
Trump lashed out at his enemies on Twitter but did not appear in public on Sunday despite White House discussions about a possible televised address.
After watching the SpaceX launch in Florida on Saturday, Trump returned to a White House under virtual siege which last night turned its lights out as protests raged just a few hundred yards away.
The president was briefly taken to a White House bunker on Friday which was used by Dick Cheney on 9/11 and has told aides he worries about his safety.
Trump has also chosen not to seek control of the National Guard for the time being, while demanding that Democratic mayors and governors deploy it to quell the riots.
'Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,' the president urged in a tweet. 'These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW.'
'The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe,' he continued, referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 'Is this what America wants? NO!!!'
By Sunday evening, Trump followed up his calls for the National Guard with a tweet that simply read: 'LAW & ORDER!'
The president is referencing state and local elected officials who have still not called in the National Guard to help mitigate violent riots that have broken out in cities across the country. 15 states and Washington DC have deployed the Guard.
Trump took particular aim at Pennsylvania, where stores including the Apple Store and Sephora were smashed up and ransacked in Philadelphia on Saturday.
At least 13 police officers were injured during the protests and parts of the city were left ablaze.
This led Pennsylvania's Democratic Governor Tom Wolf to sign an emergency declaration to assist the city, which continued to burn on Sunday.
'Law & Order in Philadelphia, NOW!' the president said in a separate tweet. 'They are looting stores.'
'Call in our great National Guard like they FINALLY did (thank you President Trump) last night in Minneapolis,' Trump demanded of the Pennsylvania governor. 'Is this what voters want with Sleepy Joe? All Dems!'
He also lashed out again at the 'Lamestream Media', saying it was 'doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy'.
'As long as everybody understands what they are doing, that they are FAKE NEWS and truly bad people with a sick agenda, we can easily work through them to GREATNESS!,' he said.
His final Sunday tweet simply read: 'FAKE NEWS!'.
Earlier in the day he announced he was designating ANTIFA as a terrorist group: 'The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.'
Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is a loose but radical far-left grouping with no official leaders which regards violent tactics as justifiable.
The president also lauded the National Guard for dealing with the violent rioters in Minneapolis, where they were called in on Saturday.
'Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night,' he tweeted. 'The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly.'
But he added that the action 'Should have been done by Mayor on first night' of the protests, claiming 'there would have been no trouble' if that was done.
'Other Democrat run Cities and States should look at the total shutdown of Radical Left Anarchists in Minneapolis last night,' the president said.
'The National Guard did a great job, and should be used in other States before it is too late!' he assured.
Trump also retweeted a message from a conservative commentator encouraging authorities to respond with greater force.
'This isn't going to stop until the good guys are willing to use overwhelming force against the bad guys,' Buck Sexton wrote in a message amplified by the president.
In recent days security at the White House has been reinforced by the National Guard and additional personnel from the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police.
On Friday, Trump was taken to an underground bunker which was used on September 11, 2001 and has since been reinforced against a similar attack.
It was not immediately clear if first lady Melania Trump and the couple's 14-year-old son, Barron, joined the president in the bunker.
Secret Service protocol would have called for all those under the agency's protection to be in the underground shelter.
Trump has told advisers he worries about his safety, while both privately and publicly praising the work of the Secret Service.
Demonstrators returned to the White House on Sunday afternoon, facing off against police at Lafayette Park into the evening.
While Trump remained out of sight, his advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions.
But the notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president's own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.
An administration official told the Washington Post that Trump had nothing new to say and had no tangible policy or action to announce at this point.
Trump did address the protests in remarks at the space launch on Saturday, saying George Floyd's death was a 'grave tragedy' which had 'filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief'.
The president said he was an 'ally to every American seeking justice and peace' but called for 'healing, not hatred' as he condemned looters.
'The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters, and anarchists,' he said.
Another official said Trump was expected in the coming days to draw distinctions between the legitimate anger of peaceful protesters and the unacceptable actions of violent agitators.
The protests stemmed from a video-taped incident where a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, was killed in Minneapolis during an arrest where four officers pinned him down.
One of the officers, a white man, can be seen on video kneeling on Floyd's neck during the arrest for more than eight minutes as the victim is heard saying that he couldn't breathe.
The death sparked widespread rage across the nation as protests broke out in dozens of cities, including Minneapolis, where Floyd died, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and many more.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.