Updated Jun 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump backs Tom Cotton's call to deploy military to quell protests

President Trump endorsed Sen. Tom Cotton's (R-Ark.) call on Monday to deploy active-duty military forces "if local law enforcement is overwhelmed" amid nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd and other instances of police violence.

The state of play: "If local law enforcement is overwhelmed, if local politicians will not do their most basic job to protect our citizens, let's see how these anarchists respond when the 101st Airborne is on the other side of the street," Cotton said on "Fox & Friends."

  • "What the president can do is say that justice will be done in accordance with law for George Floyd, and we will always respect the right of peaceful protest as many of these cities saw in the daytime, but the rioting, the anarchy and the looting ends tonight."
  • "And, if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry — whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters," he added in a tweet.

Trump's response: "100% Correct. Thank you Tom!"

The big picture: Cotton said the president should utilize the Insurrection Act, which allows the president to "restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States" when "domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order."

  • The Washington Post's Dan Lamothe reported that a senior defense official told him on Saturday that "no one in the department is talking about invoking the Insurrection Act."

Go deeper ... Obama on protests: "This moment can be a real turning point" for U.S.

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