On Monday, Donald Trump vowed to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, which gives him the power to deploy the U.S. military in an effort to deal with the ongoing riots and demonstrations across the country, ABC News reports.
"I am mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans," Trump said. "If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them."
Protests have occurred in multiple cities and states in response to the killing of George Floyd. The Insurrection Act was last invoked in 1992 in response to the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.
NBC News reports that before troops can be deployed, Trump is required to issue a proclamation first where he would "immediately order the insurgents to disperse and retire peaceably to their abodes within a limited time."
Earlier today, Trump reportedly criticized the state’s governors for coming across as "weak" in their response to protesters over the weekend. "You're making a mistake because you're making yourselves look like fools," he said during a White House teleconference call. "And some have done a great job. But a lot of you, it’s not...it’s not a great day for our country."
A reportedly unhinged Trump stressed that these governors needed to "dominate the streets" and make better use of the National Guard, which were deployed Monday evening in Washington, D.C. to drive away protesters in Lafayette Park through the use of gas prior to Trump's photo opp in front of St. John’s Church.
This is what happened on the other side of the White House only 5 minutes before President Trump began remarks in the Rose Garden. pic.twitter.com/n3UNLTBAKn— Allie Malloy (@AlliemalCNN) June 1, 2020
We can hear the explosions from the streets as Trump is speaking in the Rose Garden. pic.twitter.com/yRporcjN0T— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 1, 2020
Heavily armed federal officers fired gas canisters at a crowd of nonviolent demonstrators outside the White House. 'This was a peaceful protest,' CNN analyst Jackie Kucinich wrote. 'And they are using tear gas. In the United States. In front of the White House.' pic.twitter.com/kRq3vyV13I— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 1, 2020
“I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop, holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to enflame violence," Right Rev. Mariann Budde said to The Washington Post.
LISTEN to the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese which has authority over St. John’s Church:— David Jones (@DJones1067) June 2, 2020
Trump just used St. John’s & the Bible “...as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything our Church stands for”
LISTEN & RETWEET pic.twitter.com/L7XDU2E09a
😂— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) June 2, 2020
You guys, I am really mad about Trump using the Insurrection Act to disperse peaceful protesters and about a million other things but I literally LOL'd at this.
REPORTER: "Is that your Bible?"
TRUMP: "It's *a* Bible."
CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins reported that Trump's decision "to be seen outside the White House gates" was allegedly influenced by his anger over news of him hiding in a bunker as protests erupted.
President Trump was angered by coverage that he was rushed to the underground bunker during protests Friday night and told aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, per @Kevinliptakcnn, leading in part to his walk to St. John’s today.— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 2, 2020