Trump Threatens To Deploy Military If States Don't "Dominate" Streets With Nat'l Guard

Moments before President Trump's address, police appeared to throw tear gas into crowds of peaceful protesters near the White House.

U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement to the press in the Rose Garden about restoring "law and order" in the wake of protests at the White House June 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement to the press in the Rose Garden about restoring "law and order" in the wake of protests at the White House June 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Monday evening threatened to "deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem" if states do not "dominate" their streets with the National Guard. 

"If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are 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," Trump said, adding that part of the effort included protecting Second Amendment rights.

During his address from the Rose Garden, Trump also said he had "thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers" being deployed in Washington, D.C.

It's unclear how he will enforce the military's deployment into cities. He is reportedly considering invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807, which would enable him to deploy active-duty U.S. troops within the U.S.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker already responded, saying on CNN, "I reject the notion that the federal government can send troops into the state of Illinois."

The threat comes after days of protests across the nation against police brutality, during which police widely responded to protesters with aggression and violence, spraying them with tear gas, shooting rubber bullets, and driving police vehicles into crowds.

Moments before Trump's address, police appeared to throw tear gas into crowds of peaceful protesters near the White House. 

After he finished, Trump took a photo holding a Bible in front of St John's Episcopal Church, which was damaged during protests. He walked through Lafayette Park — the area that had just been cleared by launching the gas at peaceful protesters.

President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside of St. John's Episcopal Church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. | Getty Images

Earlier Monday, on a call with the nation’s governors, Trump implored the state leaders to try to “dominate” the protesters, saying law enforcement should get even more aggressive with their responses.

“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again ... You have to dominate or you'll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people," Trump said to the governors. Multiple news outlets obtained audio of the call.