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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during a press conference in the Capitol in April. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined Democratic governors Monday night in slamming President Trump for vowing to deploy military personnel if civil unrest continues, accusing him of "ripping" the country apart.

What they're saying: "The President’s continued fanning of the flames of discord, bigotry and violence is cowardly, weak and dangerous," the top Democrats said.

  • They also criticized him for visiting St John's Episcopal Church once military police and park rangers had cleared the area by firing tear gas on peaceful protesters.
"[A]t a time when our country cries out for unification, this President is ripping it apart. Tear-gassing peaceful protesters without provocation just so that the President could pose for photos outside a church dishonors every value that faith teaches us," the statement reads. ... We call upon the President, law enforcement and all entrusted with responsibility to respect the dignity and rights of all Americans."

What else they're saying: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), whose state has grappled with some of the most violent protests, told CNN on the president's quasi-offer: "Thank you but no thank you," and accused Trump of "calling out the American military for a photo opportunity."

  • Cuomo tweeted on Trump's St. John's church visit that the president "used the military to push out a peaceful protest so he could have a photo op at a church."
  • "It's all just a reality TV show for this president. Shameful," Cuomo added.
  • New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted that Trump "is not a dictator & he doesn't have the right to unilaterally deploy U.S. military across American states."
  • "We will guard the right to peaceful protest & will not hesitate to go to court to protect our constitutional rights during this time & well into the future," she added.

Other Democratic governors also weighed in: Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) slammed the president's military push, stating: "Well, it's illegal. He can't do it. We won't request military assistance here in the state of Illinois. I can't imagine why any governor is going to do that. This is, it's ridiculous."

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) told CNN: "Apparently there are outreach efforts to ask for acknowledgement of federal officers in states. I can tell you that my understanding is they can’t do it without the approval of governors and that’s probably not going to happen in a lot of our state."
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D)said in a statement: "This president has repeatedly proven he is incapable of governing. He has shown nothing but false bravado throughout the chaos that has accompanied his time in office. His admiration of authoritarians around the world should not allow him to violate 200 years of American tradition of local law enforcement."

Between the lines: The president must invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act in order to deploy U.S. active-duty personnel to conduct domestic law enforcement. It's been ordered multiple times in U.S. history, including by President George H.W. Bush during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

Go deeper: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets

Go deeper

U.S. cancels 1,000 visas for Chinese nationals deemed security risks

Photo: Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. has revoked more than 1,000 visas of Chinese nationals as of this week under a proclamation by President Trump aimed at student researchers suspected of having links to China's military.

Driving the news: The State Department said in an emailed statement late Wednesday that the policy, which took effect June 1, "safeguards U.S. national security, preventing the theft of American technologies, intellectual property, and information to develop advanced military capabilities" and that it has "broad authority" to revoke visas.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.