President Donald Trump, declaring himself a “president of law and order” has threatened o deploy the military to cities where, he said, governors and local officials have “failed to take necessary action” to end civil unrest.
“These are not acts of peaceful protest,” Trump declared during a brief speech in the White House Rose Garden, referring to the demonstrations and sometimes violent acts that have broken out in dozens of major cities. “These are acts of domestic terror.”
Trump said he was dispatching “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers” to end civil unrest.
Even as he declared himself an ally of legitimate protestors, police fired tear gas into peaceful crowds near the White House and advanced on horseback. Reporters in the Rose Garden could hear booms in the background. …
n private, however, during a call with governors on Monday, the president, who tweeted Saturday that looting leads to “shooting,” pushed for a harsher crackdown.
“Most of you are weak,” Trump said, berating the governors and urging them to “dominate” the protesters, according to a person on the call. He urged state officials to track down lawbreakers and send them to prison for five to 10 years.
A second person with knowledge of the call described the president as “bellicose,” raising the possibility of military action and describing the situation as a war. The message was echoed by Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who described the need to “dominate the battlespace,” language normally used to describe far-flung conflict zones instead of American streets.
Time for a sequel to Wag The Dog it seems.