Trump threatens to deploy troops to major cities
Oh, oh--he's getting ready to go into full mode "Macho Man" president!
"President Trump, declaring himself a “president of law and order” threatened Monday to 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.
Trump’s bellicose language, in which he invoked the 19th century Insurrection Act to allow deployment of military personnel came after 48 hours in which he had been mostly silent in public, except for his angry Twitter finger.
In private, however, during a call with governors 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 Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who described the need to “dominate the battlespace,” language normally used to describe far-flung conflict zones instead of American streets.
The president’s comments stunned state leaders who are struggling to defuse tensions that are boiling over in cities around the country.
[. . .]
As strong as the nation’s divisions have been under Trump, there has been rare agreement on one point: Neither on the left nor the right are there many who believe he could deliver the kind of healing address to the country that most presidents try to muster in times of national fissure.
Even the White House has tacitly conceded that point, downplaying the utility of a presidential speech.
“. . . What stops anarchy is action and that’s what the president is working on right now,” Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said during a news briefing Monday at which she invoked the amorphous left-wing movement Antifa, which the White House has sought to blame for violent protests.
[. . .]
On Friday night, Trump was whisked into the underground bunker at the White House as skirmishes intensified just outside the gates, according to an administration official speaking on the condition of anonymity. He has been holed up in the White House since Saturday night, remaining out of sight as some buildings near its perimeter burned.
Over the last 48 hours, as police and rioters continued to clash just a few hundred feet from his residence, he has continued to tweet as though he were a bystander, attacking the media and left-wing groups he is selectively blaming for the violence.
[. . .]
The contrast between Trump and his predecessors became even clearer when Obama on Monday released an essay titled “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change,” which offered support, advice and hope for the protesters while denouncing “the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms.”
[. . .]
Gingrich wants Trump to make a national address, but does not see the president’s role as a healer. Instead, he is eager to see him define a “civil war” between people who want “to destroy the country” and those who want to keep it.
[. . .]
And many closest to the cities, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, have said Trump would be better off staying on the sidelines. “His rhetoric only inflames that, and he should sometimes just stop talking,” she said Sunday in an interview on CBS."
Let's face it--Trump WANTS a confrontation. He is eager to play commander-in-chief--even if he has to declare the American public as his "enemy."