Trump threatens to deploy military amid national unrest
President Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden Monday evening that he is "mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military" to stop violent protests across the country, decrying "professional anarchists, looters, criminals, antifa and others" whose actions have "gripped" the nation.
The backdrop: Trump's announcement came as police clashed with protesters just outside of the White House, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," and other slogans. Flash bangs used outside the White House could be heard from the Rose Garden.
What he said:
- "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 presence until the violence is quelled."
- "If a city or state refuses to take the actions 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 also taking swift and decisive action to protect our capital, Washington D.C.. ... As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and wanton destruction of property. We are putting everybody on warning."
Between the lines: In order to deploy U.S. active-duty personnel to conduct law enforcement on American soil, the president must invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act. It has been used several times in U.S. history, including by President George H.W. Bush during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
- Trump has not yet enacted the Insurrection Act, according to a senior defense official.
- The Pentagon has not received any requests from states asking for military assistance as of 10pm ET.