Trump mobilizing ‘heavily armed’ military to stop protests
White House: Trump Ready To Apply Uprising Act To Quell Riot
Earlier, the head of the Pentagon expressed the opinion that the army should be used for these purposes only in exceptional cases.
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump “has the exclusive right to enforce the Rebellion Act” and “will apply it if necessary,” White House spokeswoman Kaley McEnani told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that “the option of using a field army to maintain law and order should only be used as a last resort and only in the most urgent and difficult situations.”.
“There is no such situation now,” he added. “I do not support the use of the Rebellion Law”.
A federal law of 1807 allows the president, in special circumstances, to use the military and the federally subordinated National Guard internally to quell civil unrest, uprisings and insurgencies.
After reports surfaced that the Secretary of Defense’s comments angered the president and senior White House officials, a spokesperson was asked if Trump still trusts a key cabinet member who heads the Pentagon..
“At the moment, Minister Esper is still Minister Esper,” Makenani replied..
Such a restrained response has intensified speculation that the president may soon ask the defense minister to resign..
In recent days, Trump has actively advocated the use of National Guard units, which are usually under the control of the states, not the federal authorities (with the exception of the District of Columbia), to end vandalism and looting in cities across the country..
Emphasizing the need for “law and order”, the president is demanding that more governors use the guard units under their command. He called “weak” governors who are hesitant to use the National Guard.
Trump defended his walk through Lafayette Park to the historic church, where he picked up a Bible minutes after security officials brutally cleared the road.
“Most of the religious leaders loved it,” Trump said Wednesday. – And why wouldn’t they like it? I stood in front of a church that survived trauma “.
Speaking to a Fox News radio reporter on Wednesday, Trump said the church, built in the early 19th century and long associated with US presidents, was “very badly burned” by vandals in Washington on Sunday night..
It was “imperative” for the president to go to this church to “send a very powerful message that robberies will not take over the country,” Makenani said..