Trump begins sending National Guard troops home from Washington
On Sunday, President Donald Trump said he has started the process of withdrawing National Guard troops from Washington, D.C.
“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control. They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated,” Trump tweeted.
Nearly 4,000 National Guard forces were deployed to the capital to assist local law enforcement during the protests over the death of George Floyd. The president and National Guard leaders say many of the troops will head home on Monday.
“They will be redeploying this week. Probably as early as Monday,” said Major General William J. Walker of the DC National Guard.
Walker stressed that the National Guard has only been a final line of defense in Washington and that it has never advanced on any protesters.
“The National Guard is in what we call the second row, maybe the third row, so there’s federal agencies, federal law enforcement, United States Park Police, United States Secret Service, then you might see National Guardsmen,” said Walker. “So, if you get to a Guardsman, a lot has gone wrong.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has repeatedly called on non-D.C. National Guard personnel to leave the city, writing President Trump and governors who have sent troops to D.C. asking for their removal.
During an interview with MSNBC, Bowser said that because of Washington, D.C.’s lack of statehood, the federal government can encroach on our city streets in the name of protecting federal assets.
“I think it’s unprecedented,” Bowser said. “I’m very concerned with outside state troopers and federal police officers patrolling without any identification.”
Bowser previously wrote a letter to President Trump saying that her city was well equipped to handle large demonstrations and First Amendment activities. She said that the mass deployment of federal law enforcement officers and heavy equipment was serving to inflame demonstrations rather than secure them.
Trump has not backed down or apologized for calling in the National Guard. He continues to maintain that law enforcement must “dominate the streets” and end violent protests. Amid calls from protesters to defund police departments, Trump has painted himself as the candidate of law and order.
“The Radical Left Democrats new theme is “Defund the Police”. Remember that when you don’t want Crime, especially against you and your family. This is where Sleepy Joe is being dragged by the socialists. I am the complete opposite, more money for Law Enforcement! #LAWANDORDER,” the president tweeted.
So far, governors in 32 states have activated more than 32,400 members of the National Guard to assist with the nationwide protests.
PHOTO: Getty Images
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