Top GOP senators are calling on President Donald Trump to take a far more compassionate approach amid the deep unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, raising concerns that the President's erratic handling of the crisis so far threatens to divide a badly bruised nation further.

"I think the country is definitely looking for healing and for calm, and I think that's the tone the President needs to project when talking about what is happening around the country," Senate Majority Whip John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, told CNN. "I think he needs to strike a tone that fits the level of frustration country's experiencing right now, and I hope in the future, he'll do that."

Thune added that Trump's tweets about the situation have been "not helpful."

Sen. John Cornyn, also a member of Senate GOP leadership, told CNN that "I think it's important" for Trump to offer more of a unifying message in the midst of the deep unrest across the county.

"I presume at some point he will address the nation," said Cornyn of Texas. "If I were advising him I would say we need it sooner rather than later."

At a time when Trump could be consoling the nation, Republicans -- who rarely break from Trump -- are voicing their disapproval that the President has offered little in the way of condolences and instead taken to Twitter to incite divisions and cast blame.

"Some of his tweets have not been helpful," Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said at a news conference Monday. "It would be helpful if he would change the tone of his message."

The message from his own party comes as protests have grown and spread throughout the country from Los Angeles to Washington with no end in sight.

"We are obviously in a divisive situation right now that is escalating. ... He needs to make more unifying comments," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, speaking on the Senate floor, called on Trump "to help heal the racial division."

"The President should help to heal the racial divisions in this country," Collins said. "It is at times like this that a President needs to speak to the nation, to pledge to right wrongs, and to calm inflamed passions."

Asked later if she thinks the President needs to offer a unifying message, Collins said: "I do."

Sen. Cory Gardner, who like Collins is facing reelection next year, didn't criticize Trump directly but added: "We all have to do better every day -- we have to."

On Friday, the President's handling of the situation came under more scrutiny after he tweeted "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," a phrase that that originated from controversial Miami police chief Walter Headley at the height of the civil rights movement. Headley, who defended practices like using police dogs and force, said at news conference "we don't mind being accused of police brutality," according to an article from the period in The New York Times.

"Those are not constructive tweets without any question," Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the US Senate, told Fox on Sunday. "I will say this, I spoke with the President (Saturday) morning, and he and I had a good conversation about the next steps. I told him, what I am going to tell you. I told him 'Mr. President, it helps us when you focus on the death, the unjustified in my opinion, the criminal death of George Floyd.'"

On Monday during a private call with governors, the President continued to blast others for what has unfolded, accusing some states of being weak and arguing that law enforcement needed to "dominate" protestors in order to contain the demonstrations in cities across the country.

"You have to dominate or you'll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people," the President told the governors in a call from the basement White House Situation Room, according to an audio recording of the call obtained by CNN.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn't answer questions Monday about whether he believed Trump had struck the appropriate tone in his handling of the unrest. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn't answer questions Monday about whether he believed Trump had struck the appropriate tone in his handling of the unrest. Others also declined to comment about Trump's tweets, including Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, who faces voters in the fall.

"Well, obviously this is an evolving situation -- I think this is a difficult position the President is in," said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida when asked if Trump should shift his tone to emphasize unity.

But, this isn't the first time Republicans have struggled to defend the President amid a civil rights crisis in his presidency. During Trump's first summer in office, the President was criticized by Republicans for saying there "were very fine people, on both sides" when referring to violent clashes in Charlottesville that led to the death of a Heather Heyer at the hands of a white supremacist.

On Monday, McConnell demonstrated a starkly different tone from the President from the floor of the Senate.

"In no world, whatsoever, should arresting a man for an alleged minor infraction involve a police officer putting his knee on a man's neck for nine minutes while he cries out 'I can't breathe' and then goes silent," McConnell said. "To me, to a great many of my fellow Kentuckians and to many outraged Americans, these disturbing events do not look like three isolated incidents, they look more like the latest chapter in our national struggle to make equal justice and equal protection of the law into facts of life for all Americans."

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.