National Guard troops were deployed near the White House Monday evening hours after President Donald Trump said he wanted a military show of force against violent protests gripping the nation.
What We Know:
- Shortly after, Trump came to the White Rose Garden to call himself the “law and order” president, saying “domestic terrorism” was to blame for the unrest.
- Trump called for governors to use their National Guard units to “dominate the streets” and said he would deploy the United States active duty military if governors failed to use the National Guard more forcefully.
BREAKING: Pres. Trump says he is "dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers" in response to continued protests in Washington, D.C.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 1, 2020
- Before Trump spoke, what appeared to be gas was used to disperse protestors in Lafayette Park near St. John’s Church, which protestors set fire to briefly Sunday night. Then, Trump walked across Pennsylvania Avenue to appear before cameras at the church, holding a Bible.
The area outside the White House looks like a warzone right now pic.twitter.com/MgoUnrPh6l
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 1, 2020
- A U.S. official said that active duty Army military police units from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were preparing to be on standby in the Washington, D.C. area Monday night after three days of violent protests, including fires set near the White House. Not all D.C Guard troops will be armed, the official said.
- On Monday afternoon, Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a curfew beginning at 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
- Earlier, as the White House geared up for another night of protests outside its gates, President Trump lashed out at governors for their handling of demonstrations over George Floyd’s death, emphasizing instances of rioting and looting that marred overwhelmingly peaceful protests across the country.
- Rather than focus on protestors’ grievances – such as systemic racism and police brutality – Trump has increasingly turned his focus to squelching the civil unrest that has accompanied the national demonstrations and has taken a hardline stance to restoring order.
- The President told the nation’s governors, on a call Monday, that they need to “dominate” over the ongoing situation of unrest and has related the situation to a military conflict. He said at another point: “It is a war in a certain sense and we’re gonna end it fast.”
The unrest has been the most widespread in the United States since 1968, when cities went up in flames over the slaying of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., and rekindled memories of 1992 riots in Los Angeles after police were acquitted in the brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King.