To illustrate how seriously Democratic leaders are taking the potential problem, several senior Democrats spoke out about it on a private caucus call Monday.

“This movement today, some people tried to hijack it,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told Democrats on the call, according to multiple sources. “Don’t let yourselves be drawn into the debate about defunding police forces.”

Other Democrats also weighed in, with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) saying the idea is “easily caricatured by demagogues and Republicans,” and Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) calling the defunding push “divisive and distracting.”…

Senate Democrats expressed skepticism about the message Monday. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said defunding is “not the term I would use” but emphasized the need to “listen to the pain and the lived experiences of the people who are protesting.” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine predicted that Congress would not defund the police.