Trump Threatens To Deploy US Military To Quash What He Calls ‘Domestic Terror’
After a brief comment about seeking justice for the family of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police, President Donald Trump said he was marshalling federal resources to help quash the rioting and looting that has taken hold in cities -- amid mostly peaceful protests -- across the country over the past several nights.
Without taking questions or addressing his administration's stance on the protests, Trump said he would go so far as to deploy the U.S. military to aid local law enforcement if governors and local mayors do not take action on their own.
Making no call for peace and expressing no concerns about the police brutality being protested, the president made the announcement from the White House Rose Garden tonight:
"Today, I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them."
“I am mobilizing all available federal resources — civilian and military — to stop the rioting and looting to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans including your Second Amendment rights,” he said, referring to the right for civilians to bear arms.
Trump did not invoke the right to peaceful protest, free speech, or the First Amendment -- nor did he acknowledge the aggressive police tactics that have played out at protests in multiple cities, where it’s peaceful protestors and journalists have been targeted, harmed or arrested by law enforcement.
The response to protesters by law enforcement in many places, including L.A. County, is already considered by some to be unnecessarily aggressive. LAist's own reporters have been shot with rubber bullets, tear-gassed and had guns aimed at them. Nationwide, reporters have been attacked by police and arrested despite being properly credentialed.
Trump said he has already dispatched "thousands of heavily armed soldiers" to assist law enforcement in the nation's capital. He said those looting or vandalizing in Washington, D.C. were a disgrace, without differentiating troublemakers from mostly peaceful protesters.
Once law and order is restored, Trump said, "we will help you, we will help your business, and we will help your family."