President Donald Trump blasted Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey just before midnight Thursday night on Twitter.

While protests continued in south Minneapolis and elsewhere late into the night, the president called Frey “very weak” and called protesters “thugs,” among other lashings.

Trump’s tweets came in two parts, starting with:

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right. ...”

In an early Friday news conference, Frey responded by saying the president doesn't know the strength of Minneapolis and criticizing Trump's finger-pointing during a time of crisis. "Weakness is refusing to take responsibilty for your own actions," Frey said, later striking the lectern. 

Trump's second tweet had a conclusion that is sure to cause debate among his supporters and antagonists into Friday at the end of a difficult week for Minnesota:

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

That tweet got the attention of Twitter, which has angered Trump in recent days for applying fact checks to two of his tweets and leading to an executive order that Trump signed on Thursday.

This time, Twitter said: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

•••

Tap here to see Trump’s tweets on Twitter.