Former Pentagon Chief James Mattis rips Donald Trump as someone who ‘tries to divide us’


Former Defense Secretary James Mattis has broken months of silence and penned an op-ed where he denounces Donald Trump’s leadership and endorses the aims of the protesters.

Mattis condemned the flexing of military might against protests he calls a legitimate response to demands for equal justice. He writes that his former commander in chief is incapable of healing the nation.

‘Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,’ Mattis writes in the Atlantic.

The decorated veteran even compares Trump’s tactics of seeking to ‘divide’ the nation to that of the Nazis.

‘Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was ‘Divide and Conquer,’ he writes. ‘Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.’ 

His statement about Trump seeking to divide the nation immediately follows. 

‘We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society,’ he continues.

He pointedly takes on Trump’s photo-op Monday, where the president brandished a bible in front of St. John’s church. He writes that he is  ‘angry and appalled’ by unfolding events.

‘We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite,’ Mattis wrote.

He called for unity and calm. ‘This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.’ 

His blistering article comes as other former military officials, including former head of the joint chiefs of staff Admiral Mike Mullen, blasted Trump for seeking to ‘politicize’ the military.

Mattis also wholeheartedly backs those marching for changes to U.S. policing after the death of George Floyd, who is black, at the hands of a white police officer – even singling out a ‘small number of lawbreakers’ who have undertaken property damage, which left a swath of buildings in downtown D.C. with shattered windows.

READ MARINE GENERAL JIM MATTIS’ FULL CONDEMNATION OF DONALD TRUMP

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand -one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values – our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens -much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’ At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict -a false conflict -between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that ‘America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.’ We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis -confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s ‘better angels,’ and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path – which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals- will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

‘It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation,’ writes Mattis.

He also blasts a comment by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, whose job is already in jeopardy, for his comment calling for governors to ‘dominate the battlespace’ in U.S. cities.

‘We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’ At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society,’ he writes. 

‘It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part.’

He also blasted the ‘bizarre photo-up’ that Trump ordered up, as federal police backed up by National Guard cleared away peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park.

‘When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,’ writes Mattis. ‘Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.’

Mattis indicated when he resigned his post that he felt an obligation to keep comments to himself. ‘There is a period in which I owe my silence. It’s not eternal. It’s not going to be forever,’ he said at the time.

Esper was fighting for his job Wednesday even as authorities seek to gain control of the nation’s streets – as he contradicted President Donald Trump on use of a special military authority and the Army announced a sudden reversal on a plan to start withdrawing active duty troops from around Washington.

 The day featured sudden turnarounds and contradicting explanations about a photo-op that both Esper and the president joined in on Monday, with no clear plan about how regular military, National Guard forces, local police, and outside forces are coalescing to attempt to maintain order.

About 200 members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne division were to have departed the D.C. region on Wednesday – only to have the order suddenly reversed after Esper paid a visit to the White House following a morning press conference where he tried to distance himself from the infamous photo-op at St. John’s church Monday. 

The the change came after Esper’s White House meeting and internal discussions at the Pentagon, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press in an on-record statement.

It came came hours after a 10 am order to draw down some of the 1,600 forces – including infantry members – who had been positioned outside Washington, D.C., and after the White House declined to say Trump had confidence in Esper, who succeeded ‘acting’ secretaries and who himself filled such a role after the departure of Gen. James Mattis.

Esper told reporters Wednesday he was opposed to invoking the 1807 Insurrection Act to send the U.S. military to impose control of cities – even as the president talked tough on Twitter and ordered an infantry battalion to Washington, D.C.

It was a statement that caught the White House off guard at a time President Trump is brandishing his maximum authority – and could put Esper’s job in jeopardy.

Esper made the public statement of opposition to the idea after the White House publicly floated it on Monday – and after the administration took heat for the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters out of Lafayette Park just before Esper joined President Donald Trump at a photo-op.

The decision to maintain the force that had been flown into the region comes even as protests overnight Tuesday were calmer then they were the night of the Lafayette Park incident.

It came as it was revealed that Maryland and Virginia governors had refused to send their national groups to the nation’s capital, which has a longstanding struggle over home-rule with federal authorities.

Trump loyalist Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would send 500 guard troops. 

Esper also sought to back away from the photo-op itself, saying that while he knew he would be going to the church, he thought he would be visiting troops. He ended up posing with Trump and officials including Attorney General Bill Barr, who the White House said ordered the action Monday morning, only to discover it hadn’t occurred hours later.

‘What I was not aware of was exactly where we were going when we arrived at the church and what the plans were once we got there,’ Esper said. He also tried to walk-back a comment that referred to U.S. cities as ‘battle-space.’ ‘In retrospect I would use different wording’ he said of his conference call with Trump and governors,’ he said.  

Just hours after he spoke at the Pentagon, Defense officials said some of the active duty military troops flown into the Washington region to deal with civil unrest were being sent home.

About 200 members of the 82nd Airborne were to depart the region Wednesday, officials told the Associated Press. They are among a group of 1,600 infantry and military police being held at basis in Maryland and Virginia outside Washington, after President Trump repeatedly urged use of military force to regain control of city streets across the country.

Esper made his public comments while facing ratcheting political pressure. ‘I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard,’ Esper told reporters at a Pentagon press conference as he announced his position.

‘The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations,’ he said.

‘We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,’ he added. 

Esper’s public rebellion raised immediate questions inside the White House over how long he can survive.

 ‘As of right now secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper, and should the president lose faith we will all learn about that in the future,’ white House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said when asked if Trump still has confidence in him. 

McEnany was asked if Esper had made his views on the Insurrection Act known to the president before his public statement, as well as whether Trump had confidence in him. 

‘As of right now secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper,’ said White House press secretary Keyleigh McEnany

‘Not that I’m aware of in terms of expressing his opinion,’ she responded. ‘And I wouldn’t get into the private conversations that went on here in the White House. And with regard to whether the president has confidence, I would say if he loses confidence in Secretary Esper I’m sure you all will be the first to know,’ she said.  

McEnany referred to the Insurrection Act – which Esper argued publicly against – as a ‘tool’ the president could use.

‘The president has the sole authority to invoke the Insurrection Act. It is definitely a tool within his power. This president has one singular aim, it is protecting america’s streets. We cannot have burning churches,’ she said, referencing the damage to St. John’s on Sunday night. 

‘The Insurrection Act is a tool available,’ she said.

Esper also defended the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Army General Mark Milley, for walking around the White House dressed in combat uniform, saying it was ‘appropriate,’ after a series of retired generals voice anger at both men’s conduct and warned they were politicizing the military.

Esper, a former member of the D.C. National Guard, spoke hours after the Pentagon announced the composition of active-duty forces being dispatched to Washington, D.C. – but just after he spoke, some of those federal troops were ordered home amid signs of mounting concern inside the senior military ranks at their involvement in the capital.

A total of 1,600 forces were moved to bases in the area as a ‘prudent planning measure in response to ongoing support to civil authorities operations,’ the Pentagon said.

‘The Department of Defense moved multiple active duty Army units into the National Capitol Region as a The Secretary of Defense authorized the movement of an infantry battalion designated Task Force 504, assigned to the Army’s Immediate Response Force based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina,’ it said in a statement.

'I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,' said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said active duty forces should only be used for law enforcement in the homeland as a 'last resort'

‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,’ said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said active duty forces should only be used for law enforcement in the homeland as a ‘last resort’

His public statement comes despite a report by the New York Times that Esper favored use of the Act, as did Vice President Mike Pence. The paper reported that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley was against the idea, believing he had enough Guard troops in place to provide support. Attorney General Bill Barr, who reportedly authorized the clearing of the park, favored deferring to states’ rights on the issue, the paper reported. 

Esper made the statement at a press conference where he also claimed he had no idea where he was going when Trump led members of his administration on a walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a controversial photo shoot.

He also insisted he had ‘no idea’ that force would be used to clear out peaceful protesters ahead of the staged trip. 

The performance may not have gone over well at the White House. President Trump was ‘not happy’ with it, CNN reported – after Esper put distance between himself and the White House both on the photo-op and on the Insurrection Act.

I was just INSPECTING the bunker under the White House when I went there ‘two and a half’ or three times during protests claims Donald Trump 

President Donald Trump said he went down to the White House bunker during the protests in Washington D.C. to inspect it and not because of any possible threat.

He denied a report he was taken into the secure shelter by Secret Service agents on Friday night out of concerns for his safety.

‘I go down, I’ve gone down two or three times – all for inspection – and you go there, some day you may need it,’ he said Wednesday on Brian Kilmeade’s FOX News Radio show. ‘I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day, it was not a problem.’

The president reportedly spent an hour there Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.  

Trump was said to be furious at the image of himself in the underground bolt hole, which was designed for use in emergencies like a terrorist attack. His tough crack down on protesters and march to St. John’s Church across from the White House on Monday – where police used gas and rubber bullets to clear peaceful demonstrators from the area to make way for the president – was, in part, a response to the bunker reports.

He described his time in the underground room as ‘more for an inspection.’

‘I was there for a tiny, short little period of time,’ he told Kilmeade in a 30-minute interview on Wednesday morning. ‘A whole group of people went with me as an inspecting factor.’

‘They said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it,’ he noted. ‘I’ve been down – that’d be number two, so two and half sort of, because I’ve done different things, but two and a half.’

‘But I looked I was down for a very very short period of time, a very very short period of time, I can’t tell you who went with me but a whole group of people went with me,’ Trump added. 

 – By Emily Goodin, Senior U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com

Even as Esper cautioned against exercising the authority to use military troops at home, Trump continued to broadcast his ‘law and order’ posture on Twitter. The Pentagon’s Northern Command also dispatched troops from the 16th Military Police Brigade headquarters from Fort Bragg and the 91st Military Police Battalion from Fort Drum, New York.

Esper’s blunt opposition to using the Insurrection Act came amid some signs of new success by police in gaining order. Events on the street were calmer in New York City on the second night of a curfew officials imposed after looting in Manhattan.

Last night we took a step forward in moving out of this difficult period we’ve had the last few days and moving to a better time,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

The NYPD  blocking 5,000 protesters from entering Manhattan by holding them up on the Manhattan Bridge after a standoff, making 280 arrests.

Trump claimed on Tuesday that the city was ‘totally out of control’. On Wednesday, he said the National Guard was ‘ready’. 

There was also more calm in Washington, D.C., where law enforcement installed a new security fence after clearing Lafayette Square. Thousands marched on the White House and the U.S. Capitol, but there was less tension and there was not a repeat of a rash of vandalism that ocrurred Sunday night. 

A large gathering of peaceful protesters booed a man who ripped down a 16th Street sign near the White House, at the spot where police moved on another batch of peaceful protesters Monday.

Trump demanded Wednesday that police ‘get tough’ after a sixth night of nation-wide protests – but privately, the president is backing off his plan to send in federal troops to stifle rioters.

While President Trump launched a more than 35-tweet tirade Wednesday morning, in part claiming that the violent protesters are ‘domestic terrorists,’ he also abandoned his idea to dispatch the military after officials claimed local governments should take charge, the Associated Press reported.

Trump told members of his cabinet over the last week that he wants to send the military into American cities – a proposal that led to a heated yelling-match between those supporting the notion and those opposed. 

Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Mark Esper supported the idea, claiming it would give the federal government quicker control over the situation than if it were to take over and activate the National Guard.

Attorney General Bill Barr and Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, however, warned against the plan.

Barr was concerned with infringing on states’ rights if the military were deployed to different cities across the country facing riots and Gen. Milley assured the president he had enough force in D.C. to secure the city.

He also did not want to put active-duty military in such a domestic role.

The divide over the plan grew tentious during the Monday morning discussion as administration officials began raising their voices at one another, according to The New York Times. 

Protesters leave the Manhattan Bridge after being stopped by police last night during an 8pm curfew which thousands ignored but which was followed by less rampant destruction than on previous days in New York City

Protesters leave the Manhattan Bridge after being stopped by police last night during an 8pm curfew which thousands ignored but which was followed by less rampant destruction than on previous days in New York City 

The NYPD stopped 5,000 protesters from entering Manhattan by blocking them on the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night. The protesters retreated after 2 hours

The NYPD stopped 5,000 protesters from entering Manhattan by blocking them on the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night. The protesters retreated after 2 hours 

5,000 protesters were stopped from entering Manhattan after walking across the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night

5,000 protesters were stopped from entering Manhattan after walking across the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night 

New report: Donald Trump has privately backed down on his demand that active duty military be deployed to quell riots after administration officials raised their voices in debating the plan

New report: Donald Trump has privately backed down on his demand that active duty military be deployed to quell riots after administration officials raised their voices in debating the plan

The decision to abandon the plan came Monday as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in front of St. John's Episcopal to disperse the crowd for the president's photo-op in front of the church, which was set on fire in Sunday riots outside the White House

The decision to abandon the plan came Monday as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in front of St. John’s Episcopal to disperse the crowd for the president’s photo-op in front of the church, which was set on fire in Sunday riots outside the White House

Even though he privately abandoned the plan to show even a greater image of force in the nation's capital, Trump still told police Wednesday to 'get tough' as riots continued in cities across the country in a sixth night of violent protests in the wake of George Floyd's death

Even though he privately abandoned the plan to show even a greater image of force in the nation’s capital, Trump still told police Wednesday to ‘get tough’ as riots continued in cities across the country in a sixth night of violent protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death

Trump finally decided to break with his original plan and instead opted for a stunt where law enforcement dispersed protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets from Lafayette Park, across from the North Lawn of the White House.

After protesters were cleared, the president walked across the park to St. John’s Episcapol church, which was set on fire in riots Sunday night, for a photo-op with his bible and members of his cabinet.

Administration officials privately acknowledged Monday’s events did not do the administration any justice.

Even some Republican lawmakers who are typically in sync with the president said Trump went too far in using force to clear the way for his less than five-minute visit to the church.

‘There is no right to riot, no right to destroy others’ property, and no right to throw rocks at police,’ Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse said. ‘But there is a fundamental — a constitutional — right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop.’

On Tuesday, a senior White House official said the president wanted to make the aggressive action an example for the rest of the country.

Despite his decision not to deploy the military, Trump continued to insist that ‘The National Guard is ready!’ on Twitter Wednesday.

He has continuously urged governors to activate the National Guard in their states so cities destroyed by rioters could be policed by the Army reservist unit.

Trump shared images of his Twitter of Fifth Avenue in New York City boarding up all of its high-end businesses after several were looted and destroyed in riots in the past week as he again promoted activating the National Guard.

‘LAW & ORDER!’ he urged in another tweet . 

President Trump claimed Wednesday that protesters are acting as ‘domestic terrorists’ and told law enforcement to ‘get tough’ on rioters.

‘CNN says there are some fine people marching with the looters and domestic terrorists,’ Trump shared in a retweet from comic strip creator and satire author Scott Adams.

He also urged in another tweet: ‘Get tough police!’ after law enforcement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin revealed Tuesday night that violent protesters threw molotov cocktails at their force. 

‘Molotov cocktails are lethal force, and from their very origins, a ‘weapon of war’ (thanks Finland!),’ Buck Sexton, who formerly worked for the CIA and NYPD Intelligence Division, wrote on Twitter – and the president shared to his profile.

‘If you throw a Molotov cocktail at police, you should spend a very long time in prison,’ Sexton, who now hosts a podcast, continued. 

The Twitter tirade from Trump comes after a sixth night of violent protests broke out across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death – and the president is seeking to make the use of force in Washington, D.C an example for other cities experiencing mayhem. 

Demonstrators continued to flood the nation's capital ¿ even past the 7:00 p.m. city-wide curfew ¿ but not nearly as much destruction was done Wednesday night as night's prior

Demonstrators continued to flood the nation’s capital – even past the 7:00 p.m. city-wide curfew – but not nearly as much destruction was done Wednesday night as night’s prior

The president sent out a more than 35-tweet tirade where he asserted the 'National Guard is ready!' as stores had to prepare for more nights of riots, looting and arson by boarding up their windows

The president sent out a more than 35-tweet tirade where he asserted the ‘National Guard is ready!’ as stores had to prepare for more nights of riots, looting and arson by boarding up their windows

Officials claim the president wanted to make Washington, D.C. an example of the 'show of force' other cities should implement to quell the violence

Officials claim the president wanted to make Washington, D.C. an example of the ‘show of force’ other cities should implement to quell the violence 

On Tuesday evening, 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at military bases near Washington, and another 1,400 were prepared  to mobilize

On Tuesday evening, 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at military bases near Washington, and another 1,400 were prepared  to mobilize

Defense officials revealed that Trump, before abandoning the plan, considered using ‘tanks’ or other armored military vehicles to help restore order, and threatened to deploy active duty military across the country to quell the unrest. 

The revelation of a more ‘dominating’ approach to taking control of the streets of D.C. comes as 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening.

Another 1,400 were also brought in and prepared to mobilize as the nation’s capital braced for another night of chaos.

Hundreds of members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division were called earlier after Trump promised a more aggressive approach on the violence and riots unfolding across the country.

Defense officials told the Associated Press that the U.S. Military and National Guard were operating under the mission name ‘Operation Themis’ – named after the titaness of divine law and order.

Trump asserted Monday evening in a Rose Garden address to the nation that he is America’s ‘law and order president.’ 

As Trump made the remarks on Monday, law enforcement officials were pushing out hundreds of protesters from Washington’s Lafayette Park, ahead of the district’s 7:00 p.m. curfew.

A senior White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed on Tuesday that Trump hoped to make the aggressive action in Washington an example for the rest of the country.

On Monday night, military helicopters also hovered over demonstrators in a tactic to disperse the crowds.

Two Pentagon officials also told AP that the president had ordered military aircraft to fly above the capital as a ‘show of force’ against violent protesters. 

President Donald J. Trump returns after posing with a bible outside St. John's Episcopal Church after delivering remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington

President Donald J. Trump returns after posing with a bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church after delivering remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington

Many of the protesters stood firm as the helicopters made several passes overhead

Many of the protesters stood firm as the helicopters made several passes overhead

Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts

Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts

Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts

They did not say how many or what type of aircraft had been mobilized.

Videos and photographs posted on social media showed helicopters flying low over buildings and hovering just above groups who were on the street despite a district-wide curfew.

Law enforcement paired the tactic with heavy use of tear gas, pellets and chemical spray as protesters marched toward the White House.

Trump’s tactics were decried on Tuesday by some fellow Republicans as well as his presumptive Democratic opponent Joe Biden. 

Show-of-force missions are designed to intimidate and, in combat zones, warn opposing forces of potential military action if provoked. 

Three senior defense officials also told The Daily Beast that the idea of deploying military forces was being pushed by the White House, not the Pentagon.

The sources revealed Trump consulted with aides about using military vehicles or ‘the kind of hardware’ used by the armed forces, to help bring the chaos under control.

Hundreds of army soldiers armed with bayonets arrived  at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening (pictured: 82nd Airborne Division soldier holding a bayonet in 2015)

Hundreds of army soldiers armed with bayonets arrived  at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening (pictured: 82nd Airborne Division soldier holding a bayonet in 2015)

One official said Trump did not specifically order ‘tanks’ to patrol the streets, but said he mentioned it in discussions because ‘I think that is just one of the military words he knows’. 

It comes as 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening, while another 1,400 are preparing to mobilize, as the nation’s capital braces for another night of chaos. 

Hundreds of members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division were called earlier after Trump promised a more aggressive approach on the violence and riots unfolding across the country. 

Defense officials told AP the US military and National Guard were operating under the mission name ‘Operation Themis’ – named after the titaness of divine law and order.      

Moments after the historic Lafayette Park was cleared of protesters on Monday, Trump walked across to pose with a Bible in front of a church damaged by fire during protests the previous evening.

He hoped his personal walk to the church would send a message about how dominant force could restore law and order, sources said. 

Protesters hold their hands up and try to steady themselves as a military helicopter flies low pushing a strong vertical down wash of air (rotor wash) onto the crowd

Protesters hold their hands up and try to steady themselves as a military helicopter flies low pushing a strong vertical down wash of air (rotor wash) onto the crowd

‘D.C. had no problems last night. Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination,’ Trump tweeted Tuesday, after a night in which heavily armed military forces and federal officers swarmed the city. 

Trump added: ‘(thank you President Trump!).’ 

In an evening address in the Rose Garden on Monday, Trump called on governors to ramp up the National Guard presence in their states to tamp down the protests.

 If they didn’t abide by those orders, Trump said, he would dispatch the military to their states – a step rarely taken in modern American history. 

‘SILENT MAJORITY!’ Trump tweeted Tuesday, embracing a phrase popularized by President Richard Nixon decades ago, in claiming broad support for his actions. Trump also emphasized the political importance of the moment to his supporters on Twitter and declared that ‘My Admin has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln.’

The District of Columbia’s federal status gives the president outsized authority to act, allowing him to direct the deployment of the National Guard. 

He authorized Attorney General William Barr to oversee a surge in the deployment of federal law enforcement officers, including the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sought to distance themselves from Monday night’s events after former military officials criticized their appearance with the president. 

Senior defense officials told reporters the two were not aware that the Park Police and law enforcement had made a decision to clear the square or that Trump intended to visit the church. 

They had been in Washington to coordinate with federal law enforcement officials but were diverted to the White House to brief Trump on military preparations, the officials said.

Former Pentagon Chief James Mattis rips Donald Trump as someone who ‘tries to divide us’


Former Defense Secretary James Mattis has broken months of silence and penned an op-ed where he denounces Donald Trump’s leadership and endorses the aims of the protesters.

Mattis condemned the flexing of military might against protests he calls a legitimate response to demands for equal justice. He writes that his former commander in chief is incapable of healing the nation.

‘Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,’ Mattis writes in the Atlantic.

The decorated veteran even compares Trump’s tactics of seeking to ‘divide’ the nation to that of the Nazis.

‘Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was ‘Divide and Conquer,’ he writes. ‘Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.’ 

His statement about Trump seeking to divide the nation immediately follows. 

‘We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society,’ he continues.

He pointedly takes on Trump’s photo-op Monday, where the president brandished a bible in front of St. John’s church. He writes that he is  ‘angry and appalled’ by unfolding events.

‘We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite,’ Mattis wrote.

He called for unity and calm. ‘This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.’ 

His blistering article comes as other former military officials, including former head of the joint chiefs of staff Admiral Mike Mullen, blasted Trump for seeking to ‘politicize’ the military.

Mattis also wholeheartedly backs those marching for changes to U.S. policing after the death of George Floyd, who is black, at the hands of a white police officer – even singling out a ‘small number of lawbreakers’ who have undertaken property damage, which left a swath of buildings in downtown D.C. with shattered windows.

READ MARINE GENERAL JIM MATTIS’ FULL CONDEMNATION OF DONALD TRUMP

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand -one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values – our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens -much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’ At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict -a false conflict -between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that ‘America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.’ We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis -confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people – does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s ‘better angels,’ and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path – which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals- will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

‘It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation,’ writes Mattis.

He also blasts a comment by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, whose job is already in jeopardy, for his comment calling for governors to ‘dominate the battlespace’ in U.S. cities.

‘We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’ At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society,’ he writes. 

‘It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part.’

He also blasted the ‘bizarre photo-up’ that Trump ordered up, as federal police backed up by National Guard cleared away peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park.

‘When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,’ writes Mattis. ‘Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.’

Mattis indicated when he resigned his post that he felt an obligation to keep comments to himself. ‘There is a period in which I owe my silence. It’s not eternal. It’s not going to be forever,’ he said at the time.

Esper was fighting for his job Wednesday even as authorities seek to gain control of the nation’s streets – as he contradicted President Donald Trump on use of a special military authority and the Army announced a sudden reversal on a plan to start withdrawing active duty troops from around Washington.

 The day featured sudden turnarounds and contradicting explanations about a photo-op that both Esper and the president joined in on Monday, with no clear plan about how regular military, National Guard forces, local police, and outside forces are coalescing to attempt to maintain order.

About 200 members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne division were to have departed the D.C. region on Wednesday – only to have the order suddenly reversed after Esper paid a visit to the White House following a morning press conference where he tried to distance himself from the infamous photo-op at St. John’s church Monday. 

The the change came after Esper’s White House meeting and internal discussions at the Pentagon, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press in an on-record statement.

It came came hours after a 10 am order to draw down some of the 1,600 forces – including infantry members – who had been positioned outside Washington, D.C., and after the White House declined to say Trump had confidence in Esper, who succeeded ‘acting’ secretaries and who himself filled such a role after the departure of Gen. James Mattis.

Esper told reporters Wednesday he was opposed to invoking the 1807 Insurrection Act to send the U.S. military to impose control of cities – even as the president talked tough on Twitter and ordered an infantry battalion to Washington, D.C.

It was a statement that caught the White House off guard at a time President Trump is brandishing his maximum authority – and could put Esper’s job in jeopardy.

Esper made the public statement of opposition to the idea after the White House publicly floated it on Monday – and after the administration took heat for the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters out of Lafayette Park just before Esper joined President Donald Trump at a photo-op.

The decision to maintain the force that had been flown into the region comes even as protests overnight Tuesday were calmer then they were the night of the Lafayette Park incident.

It came as it was revealed that Maryland and Virginia governors had refused to send their national groups to the nation’s capital, which has a longstanding struggle over home-rule with federal authorities.

Trump loyalist Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would send 500 guard troops. 

Esper also sought to back away from the photo-op itself, saying that while he knew he would be going to the church, he thought he would be visiting troops. He ended up posing with Trump and officials including Attorney General Bill Barr, who the White House said ordered the action Monday morning, only to discover it hadn’t occurred hours later.

‘What I was not aware of was exactly where we were going when we arrived at the church and what the plans were once we got there,’ Esper said. He also tried to walk-back a comment that referred to U.S. cities as ‘battle-space.’ ‘In retrospect I would use different wording’ he said of his conference call with Trump and governors,’ he said.  

Just hours after he spoke at the Pentagon, Defense officials said some of the active duty military troops flown into the Washington region to deal with civil unrest were being sent home.

About 200 members of the 82nd Airborne were to depart the region Wednesday, officials told the Associated Press. They are among a group of 1,600 infantry and military police being held at basis in Maryland and Virginia outside Washington, after President Trump repeatedly urged use of military force to regain control of city streets across the country.

Esper made his public comments while facing ratcheting political pressure. ‘I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard,’ Esper told reporters at a Pentagon press conference as he announced his position.

‘The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations,’ he said.

‘We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,’ he added. 

Esper’s public rebellion raised immediate questions inside the White House over how long he can survive.

 ‘As of right now secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper, and should the president lose faith we will all learn about that in the future,’ white House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said when asked if Trump still has confidence in him. 

McEnany was asked if Esper had made his views on the Insurrection Act known to the president before his public statement, as well as whether Trump had confidence in him. 

‘As of right now secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper,’ said White House press secretary Keyleigh McEnany

‘Not that I’m aware of in terms of expressing his opinion,’ she responded. ‘And I wouldn’t get into the private conversations that went on here in the White House. And with regard to whether the president has confidence, I would say if he loses confidence in Secretary Esper I’m sure you all will be the first to know,’ she said.  

McEnany referred to the Insurrection Act – which Esper argued publicly against – as a ‘tool’ the president could use.

‘The president has the sole authority to invoke the Insurrection Act. It is definitely a tool within his power. This president has one singular aim, it is protecting america’s streets. We cannot have burning churches,’ she said, referencing the damage to St. John’s on Sunday night. 

‘The Insurrection Act is a tool available,’ she said.

Esper also defended the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Army General Mark Milley, for walking around the White House dressed in combat uniform, saying it was ‘appropriate,’ after a series of retired generals voice anger at both men’s conduct and warned they were politicizing the military.

Esper, a former member of the D.C. National Guard, spoke hours after the Pentagon announced the composition of active-duty forces being dispatched to Washington, D.C. – but just after he spoke, some of those federal troops were ordered home amid signs of mounting concern inside the senior military ranks at their involvement in the capital.

A total of 1,600 forces were moved to bases in the area as a ‘prudent planning measure in response to ongoing support to civil authorities operations,’ the Pentagon said.

‘The Department of Defense moved multiple active duty Army units into the National Capitol Region as a The Secretary of Defense authorized the movement of an infantry battalion designated Task Force 504, assigned to the Army’s Immediate Response Force based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina,’ it said in a statement.

'I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,' said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said active duty forces should only be used for law enforcement in the homeland as a 'last resort'

‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,’ said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said active duty forces should only be used for law enforcement in the homeland as a ‘last resort’

His public statement comes despite a report by the New York Times that Esper favored use of the Act, as did Vice President Mike Pence. The paper reported that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley was against the idea, believing he had enough Guard troops in place to provide support. Attorney General Bill Barr, who reportedly authorized the clearing of the park, favored deferring to states’ rights on the issue, the paper reported. 

Esper made the statement at a press conference where he also claimed he had no idea where he was going when Trump led members of his administration on a walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a controversial photo shoot.

He also insisted he had ‘no idea’ that force would be used to clear out peaceful protesters ahead of the staged trip. 

The performance may not have gone over well at the White House. President Trump was ‘not happy’ with it, CNN reported – after Esper put distance between himself and the White House both on the photo-op and on the Insurrection Act.

I was just INSPECTING the bunker under the White House when I went there ‘two and a half’ or three times during protests claims Donald Trump 

President Donald Trump said he went down to the White House bunker during the protests in Washington D.C. to inspect it and not because of any possible threat.

He denied a report he was taken into the secure shelter by Secret Service agents on Friday night out of concerns for his safety.

‘I go down, I’ve gone down two or three times – all for inspection – and you go there, some day you may need it,’ he said Wednesday on Brian Kilmeade’s FOX News Radio show. ‘I went down. I looked at it. It was during the day, it was not a problem.’

The president reportedly spent an hour there Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.  

Trump was said to be furious at the image of himself in the underground bolt hole, which was designed for use in emergencies like a terrorist attack. His tough crack down on protesters and march to St. John’s Church across from the White House on Monday – where police used gas and rubber bullets to clear peaceful demonstrators from the area to make way for the president – was, in part, a response to the bunker reports.

He described his time in the underground room as ‘more for an inspection.’

‘I was there for a tiny, short little period of time,’ he told Kilmeade in a 30-minute interview on Wednesday morning. ‘A whole group of people went with me as an inspecting factor.’

‘They said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it,’ he noted. ‘I’ve been down – that’d be number two, so two and half sort of, because I’ve done different things, but two and a half.’

‘But I looked I was down for a very very short period of time, a very very short period of time, I can’t tell you who went with me but a whole group of people went with me,’ Trump added. 

 – By Emily Goodin, Senior U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com

Even as Esper cautioned against exercising the authority to use military troops at home, Trump continued to broadcast his ‘law and order’ posture on Twitter. The Pentagon’s Northern Command also dispatched troops from the 16th Military Police Brigade headquarters from Fort Bragg and the 91st Military Police Battalion from Fort Drum, New York.

Esper’s blunt opposition to using the Insurrection Act came amid some signs of new success by police in gaining order. Events on the street were calmer in New York City on the second night of a curfew officials imposed after looting in Manhattan.

Last night we took a step forward in moving out of this difficult period we’ve had the last few days and moving to a better time,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

The NYPD  blocking 5,000 protesters from entering Manhattan by holding them up on the Manhattan Bridge after a standoff, making 280 arrests.

Trump claimed on Tuesday that the city was ‘totally out of control’. On Wednesday, he said the National Guard was ‘ready’. 

There was also more calm in Washington, D.C., where law enforcement installed a new security fence after clearing Lafayette Square. Thousands marched on the White House and the U.S. Capitol, but there was less tension and there was not a repeat of a rash of vandalism that ocrurred Sunday night. 

A large gathering of peaceful protesters booed a man who ripped down a 16th Street sign near the White House, at the spot where police moved on another batch of peaceful protesters Monday.

Trump demanded Wednesday that police ‘get tough’ after a sixth night of nation-wide protests – but privately, the president is backing off his plan to send in federal troops to stifle rioters.

While President Trump launched a more than 35-tweet tirade Wednesday morning, in part claiming that the violent protesters are ‘domestic terrorists,’ he also abandoned his idea to dispatch the military after officials claimed local governments should take charge, the Associated Press reported.

Trump told members of his cabinet over the last week that he wants to send the military into American cities – a proposal that led to a heated yelling-match between those supporting the notion and those opposed. 

Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Mark Esper supported the idea, claiming it would give the federal government quicker control over the situation than if it were to take over and activate the National Guard.

Attorney General Bill Barr and Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, however, warned against the plan.

Barr was concerned with infringing on states’ rights if the military were deployed to different cities across the country facing riots and Gen. Milley assured the president he had enough force in D.C. to secure the city.

He also did not want to put active-duty military in such a domestic role.

The divide over the plan grew tentious during the Monday morning discussion as administration officials began raising their voices at one another, according to The New York Times. 

Protesters leave the Manhattan Bridge after being stopped by police last night during an 8pm curfew which thousands ignored but which was followed by less rampant destruction than on previous days in New York City

Protesters leave the Manhattan Bridge after being stopped by police last night during an 8pm curfew which thousands ignored but which was followed by less rampant destruction than on previous days in New York City 

The NYPD stopped 5,000 protesters from entering Manhattan by blocking them on the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night. The protesters retreated after 2 hours

The NYPD stopped 5,000 protesters from entering Manhattan by blocking them on the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night. The protesters retreated after 2 hours 

5,000 protesters were stopped from entering Manhattan after walking across the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night

5,000 protesters were stopped from entering Manhattan after walking across the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night 

New report: Donald Trump has privately backed down on his demand that active duty military be deployed to quell riots after administration officials raised their voices in debating the plan

New report: Donald Trump has privately backed down on his demand that active duty military be deployed to quell riots after administration officials raised their voices in debating the plan

The decision to abandon the plan came Monday as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in front of St. John's Episcopal to disperse the crowd for the president's photo-op in front of the church, which was set on fire in Sunday riots outside the White House

The decision to abandon the plan came Monday as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in front of St. John’s Episcopal to disperse the crowd for the president’s photo-op in front of the church, which was set on fire in Sunday riots outside the White House

Even though he privately abandoned the plan to show even a greater image of force in the nation's capital, Trump still told police Wednesday to 'get tough' as riots continued in cities across the country in a sixth night of violent protests in the wake of George Floyd's death

Even though he privately abandoned the plan to show even a greater image of force in the nation’s capital, Trump still told police Wednesday to ‘get tough’ as riots continued in cities across the country in a sixth night of violent protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death

Trump finally decided to break with his original plan and instead opted for a stunt where law enforcement dispersed protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets from Lafayette Park, across from the North Lawn of the White House.

After protesters were cleared, the president walked across the park to St. John’s Episcapol church, which was set on fire in riots Sunday night, for a photo-op with his bible and members of his cabinet.

Administration officials privately acknowledged Monday’s events did not do the administration any justice.

Even some Republican lawmakers who are typically in sync with the president said Trump went too far in using force to clear the way for his less than five-minute visit to the church.

‘There is no right to riot, no right to destroy others’ property, and no right to throw rocks at police,’ Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse said. ‘But there is a fundamental — a constitutional — right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop.’

On Tuesday, a senior White House official said the president wanted to make the aggressive action an example for the rest of the country.

Despite his decision not to deploy the military, Trump continued to insist that ‘The National Guard is ready!’ on Twitter Wednesday.

He has continuously urged governors to activate the National Guard in their states so cities destroyed by rioters could be policed by the Army reservist unit.

Trump shared images of his Twitter of Fifth Avenue in New York City boarding up all of its high-end businesses after several were looted and destroyed in riots in the past week as he again promoted activating the National Guard.

‘LAW & ORDER!’ he urged in another tweet . 

President Trump claimed Wednesday that protesters are acting as ‘domestic terrorists’ and told law enforcement to ‘get tough’ on rioters.

‘CNN says there are some fine people marching with the looters and domestic terrorists,’ Trump shared in a retweet from comic strip creator and satire author Scott Adams.

He also urged in another tweet: ‘Get tough police!’ after law enforcement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin revealed Tuesday night that violent protesters threw molotov cocktails at their force. 

‘Molotov cocktails are lethal force, and from their very origins, a ‘weapon of war’ (thanks Finland!),’ Buck Sexton, who formerly worked for the CIA and NYPD Intelligence Division, wrote on Twitter – and the president shared to his profile.

‘If you throw a Molotov cocktail at police, you should spend a very long time in prison,’ Sexton, who now hosts a podcast, continued. 

The Twitter tirade from Trump comes after a sixth night of violent protests broke out across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death – and the president is seeking to make the use of force in Washington, D.C an example for other cities experiencing mayhem. 

Demonstrators continued to flood the nation's capital – even past the 7:00 p.m. city-wide curfew – but not nearly as much destruction was done Wednesday night as night's prior

Demonstrators continued to flood the nation’s capital – even past the 7:00 p.m. city-wide curfew – but not nearly as much destruction was done Wednesday night as night’s prior

The president sent out a more than 35-tweet tirade where he asserted the 'National Guard is ready!' as stores had to prepare for more nights of riots, looting and arson by boarding up their windows

The president sent out a more than 35-tweet tirade where he asserted the ‘National Guard is ready!’ as stores had to prepare for more nights of riots, looting and arson by boarding up their windows

Officials claim the president wanted to make Washington, D.C. an example of the 'show of force' other cities should implement to quell the violence

Officials claim the president wanted to make Washington, D.C. an example of the ‘show of force’ other cities should implement to quell the violence 

On Tuesday evening, 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at military bases near Washington, and another 1,400 were prepared  to mobilize

On Tuesday evening, 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at military bases near Washington, and another 1,400 were prepared  to mobilize

Defense officials revealed that Trump, before abandoning the plan, considered using ‘tanks’ or other armored military vehicles to help restore order, and threatened to deploy active duty military across the country to quell the unrest. 

The revelation of a more ‘dominating’ approach to taking control of the streets of D.C. comes as 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening.

Another 1,400 were also brought in and prepared to mobilize as the nation’s capital braced for another night of chaos.

Hundreds of members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division were called earlier after Trump promised a more aggressive approach on the violence and riots unfolding across the country.

Defense officials told the Associated Press that the U.S. Military and National Guard were operating under the mission name ‘Operation Themis’ – named after the titaness of divine law and order.

Trump asserted Monday evening in a Rose Garden address to the nation that he is America’s ‘law and order president.’ 

As Trump made the remarks on Monday, law enforcement officials were pushing out hundreds of protesters from Washington’s Lafayette Park, ahead of the district’s 7:00 p.m. curfew.

A senior White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed on Tuesday that Trump hoped to make the aggressive action in Washington an example for the rest of the country.

On Monday night, military helicopters also hovered over demonstrators in a tactic to disperse the crowds.

Two Pentagon officials also told AP that the president had ordered military aircraft to fly above the capital as a ‘show of force’ against violent protesters. 

President Donald J. Trump returns after posing with a bible outside St. John's Episcopal Church after delivering remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington

President Donald J. Trump returns after posing with a bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church after delivering remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington

Many of the protesters stood firm as the helicopters made several passes overhead

Many of the protesters stood firm as the helicopters made several passes overhead

Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts

Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts

Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts

They did not say how many or what type of aircraft had been mobilized.

Videos and photographs posted on social media showed helicopters flying low over buildings and hovering just above groups who were on the street despite a district-wide curfew.

Law enforcement paired the tactic with heavy use of tear gas, pellets and chemical spray as protesters marched toward the White House.

Trump’s tactics were decried on Tuesday by some fellow Republicans as well as his presumptive Democratic opponent Joe Biden. 

Show-of-force missions are designed to intimidate and, in combat zones, warn opposing forces of potential military action if provoked. 

Three senior defense officials also told The Daily Beast that the idea of deploying military forces was being pushed by the White House, not the Pentagon.

The sources revealed Trump consulted with aides about using military vehicles or ‘the kind of hardware’ used by the armed forces, to help bring the chaos under control.

Hundreds of army soldiers armed with bayonets arrived  at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening (pictured: 82nd Airborne Division soldier holding a bayonet in 2015)

Hundreds of army soldiers armed with bayonets arrived  at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening (pictured: 82nd Airborne Division soldier holding a bayonet in 2015)

One official said Trump did not specifically order ‘tanks’ to patrol the streets, but said he mentioned it in discussions because ‘I think that is just one of the military words he knows’. 

It comes as 700 soldiers dressed in riot gear and armed with bayonets arrived at two military bases near Washington on Tuesday evening, while another 1,400 are preparing to mobilize, as the nation’s capital braces for another night of chaos. 

Hundreds of members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division were called earlier after Trump promised a more aggressive approach on the violence and riots unfolding across the country. 

Defense officials told AP the US military and National Guard were operating under the mission name ‘Operation Themis’ – named after the titaness of divine law and order.      

Moments after the historic Lafayette Park was cleared of protesters on Monday, Trump walked across to pose with a Bible in front of a church damaged by fire during protests the previous evening.

He hoped his personal walk to the church would send a message about how dominant force could restore law and order, sources said. 

Protesters hold their hands up and try to steady themselves as a military helicopter flies low pushing a strong vertical down wash of air (rotor wash) onto the crowd

Protesters hold their hands up and try to steady themselves as a military helicopter flies low pushing a strong vertical down wash of air (rotor wash) onto the crowd

‘D.C. had no problems last night. Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination,’ Trump tweeted Tuesday, after a night in which heavily armed military forces and federal officers swarmed the city. 

Trump added: ‘(thank you President Trump!).’ 

In an evening address in the Rose Garden on Monday, Trump called on governors to ramp up the National Guard presence in their states to tamp down the protests.

 If they didn’t abide by those orders, Trump said, he would dispatch the military to their states – a step rarely taken in modern American history. 

‘SILENT MAJORITY!’ Trump tweeted Tuesday, embracing a phrase popularized by President Richard Nixon decades ago, in claiming broad support for his actions. Trump also emphasized the political importance of the moment to his supporters on Twitter and declared that ‘My Admin has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln.’

The District of Columbia’s federal status gives the president outsized authority to act, allowing him to direct the deployment of the National Guard. 

He authorized Attorney General William Barr to oversee a surge in the deployment of federal law enforcement officers, including the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sought to distance themselves from Monday night’s events after former military officials criticized their appearance with the president. 

Senior defense officials told reporters the two were not aware that the Park Police and law enforcement had made a decision to clear the square or that Trump intended to visit the church. 

They had been in Washington to coordinate with federal law enforcement officials but were diverted to the White House to brief Trump on military preparations, the officials said.

Minnesota AG is expected to announce decision in charging other cops in George Floyd’s death


BREAKING NEWS – Three other cops involved George Floyd killing ‘are CHARGED with aiding and abetting murder as Minnesota AG heightens Derek Chauvin’s charge from 3rd to 2nd degree murder’

  • Minnesota AG Keith Ellison has reportedly charged Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting murder
  • The three men were present when Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes last Monday in Minneapolis
  • They were all fired and Chauvin was charged but there have been unanimous calls for the other three cops to also face charges
  • Floyd’s family say they were complicit in his death because they did not stop it 
  • Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter
  • On Wednesday, Floyd’s adult son Quincy Mason Floyd visited the site where he died
  • Floyd, 46, begged for breath and told the officers he could not breathe  

The three other cops involved in George Floyd’s killing have reportedly been charged with aiding and abetting murder, and Derek Chauvin – the cop who knelt on Floyd’s neck – has been charged with second degree murder, multiple sources have claimed. 

Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were all present when Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis on Monday for eight minutes and 46 seconds. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted that the three other cops had been charged but she did not reveal what the charges were. 

The Star Tribune has since claimed they are being charged with aiding and abetting murder, and that Chauvin’s charge has been upgraded.  

All four cops were fired but the three others were not charged initially, to the dismay of Floyd and protesters around the world who say they are just as complicit because they did nothing to prevent Floyd’s death. 

Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng

 Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were all present when Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis on Monday for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The Minnesota AG is due to announce that he has charged them with aiding and abetting murder 

Another angle of the infamous video shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck and the three other cops right beside him

Another angle of the infamous video shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck and the three other cops right beside him 

The case was taken out of the hands of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and handed over to Minnesota AG Keith Ellison earlier this week after a groundswell of outrage over how the case had been handled to date.

Ellison’s office vowed to carry out a full overhaul of the investigation, including whether or not Chauvin’s charges should be upgraded from third degree murder to first degree murder.  

Derek Chauvin, 44, has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. His charges may be made more severe, the AG said earlier this week

Derek Chauvin, 44, has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. His charges may be made more severe, the AG said earlier this week 

A spokesman for his office did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiries. 

The new development came as Floyd’s adult son – Quincy Mason Floyd – visited the site where his father died with the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump. 

Crump also told reporters that he’d been informed a decision on the case had been reached. 

Both Chauvin and Thao had been complained about for their use of force in the past. 

Tou Thao, was part of a $25,000 out of court settlement after being sued for using excessive force in 2017. 

A lawsuit obtained by the DailyMail.com shows Thao was sued for using excessive force in arrest where he was accused of punching and kicking a handcuffed suspect ‘until his teeth broke’.     

In 2006 Derek Chauvin, 44, was one of six officers connected to the death of Wayne Reyes.   

Reyes, 42 was killed by officers after allegedly pulling a shotgun on the six cops, which included Chauvin.     

Two years later Chauvin was investigated for his role in the 2008 shooting of Ira Latrell Toles during a domestic assault call. 

Toles was wounded after police said he went for an officer’s gun and Chauvin shot him.

And in 2011 23-year-old Leroy Martinez was shot and injured during a chase given by officers including Chauvin.

Lane and Keung are reportedly rookies.  

George Floyd's adult son Quincy Mason Floyd (pictured center) visited the site where his father died in Minneapolis last Monday

George Floyd’s adult son Quincy Mason Floyd (pictured center) visited the site where his father died in Minneapolis last Monday 

Minnesota AG is expected to announce decision in charging other cops in George Floyd’s death


BREAKING NEWS – Minnesota AG ‘has reached a decision on charging the three other cops involved in George Floyd’s killing and will make an announcement TODAY’ – as Floyd’s son visits the site where he died after being knelt on for 8 minutes

  • Minnesota AG Keith Ellison has reportedly reached a decision over whether or not to charge Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao
  • The three men were present when Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes last Monday in Minneapolis
  • They were all fired and Chauvin was charged but there have been unanimous calls for the other three cops to also face charges
  • Floyd’s family say they were complicit in his death because they did not stop it 
  • Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter
  • On Wednesday, Floyd’s adult son Quincy Mason Floyd visited the site where he died
  • Floyd, 46, begged for breath and told the officers he could not breathe  

The Minnesota Attorney General has reached a decision over whether or not to charge the three other cops involved in George Floyd’s death, CNN is reporting. 

Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were all present when Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis on Monday for eight minutes and 46 seconds. 

Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter and is in custody but none of the other cops have been arrested, to the dismay of Floyd and protesters around the world who say they are just as complicit because they did nothing to prevent Floyd’s death. 

The case was taken out of the hands of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and handed over to Minnesota AG Keith Ellison earlier this week after a groundswell of outrage over how the case had been handled to date.

Ellison’s office vowed to carry out a full overhaul of the investigation, including whether or not Chauvin’s charges should be upgraded from third degree murder to first degree murder. 

Sources told CNN that a decision had been reached in the case on Wednesday afternoon but there has not so far not been any announcement from Ellison’s office. 

Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng

 Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were all present when Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis on Monday for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The Minnesota AG has reportedly reached a decision over whether or not to charge them and is expected to make an announcement imminently 

Another angle of the infamous video shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck and the three other cops right beside him

Another angle of the infamous video shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck and the three other cops right beside him 

A spokesman for his office did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiries. 

The new development came as Floyd’s adult son – Quincy Mason Floyd – visited the site where his father died with the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump. 

Derek Chauvin, 44, has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. His charges may be made more severe, the AG said earlier this week

Derek Chauvin, 44, has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. His charges may be made more severe, the AG said earlier this week 

Crump also told reporters that he’d been informed a decision on the case had been reached. 

Both Chauvin and Thao had been complained about for their use of force in the past. 

Tou Thao, was part of a $25,000 out of court settlement after being sued for using excessive force in 2017. 

A lawsuit obtained by the DailyMail.com shows Thao was sued for using excessive force in arrest where he was accused of punching and kicking a handcuffed suspect ‘until his teeth broke’.     

In 2006 Derek Chauvin, 44, was one of six officers connected to the death of Wayne Reyes.   

Reyes, 42 was killed by officers after allegedly pulling a shotgun on the six cops, which included Chauvin.     

Two years later Chauvin was investigated for his role in the 2008 shooting of Ira Latrell Toles during a domestic assault call. 

Toles was wounded after police said he went for an officer’s gun and Chauvin shot him.

And in 2011 23-year-old Leroy Martinez was shot and injured during a chase given by officers including Chauvin.

Lane and Keung are reportedly rookies.  

George Floyd's adult son Quincy Mason Floyd (pictured center) visited the site where his father died in Minneapolis last Monday

George Floyd’s adult son Quincy Mason Floyd (pictured center) visited the site where his father died in Minneapolis last Monday 

Trump says ‘I am your law and order president’


President Donald Trump declared himself the ‘law and order president’ Monday night as law enforcement officials used rubber bullets, tear gas and officers on horse back to clear out protesters so Trump could walk to an historic church across from the White House for a photo-op.

‘I am your president of law and order,’ Trump said in the Rose Garden as the split screen on televisions across the nation showed peaceful protesters being fired upon and cleared out 30 minutes before Washington D.C.’s curfew went into affect. 

‘The biggest victims of the rioting are peace loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as they are president, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,’ Trump said in brief remarks. As he spoke helicopters circled over head and booming sounds could be heard. 

Armed offices on horse back cleared protesters from around the White House so the president could walk across Lafayette Park to pay his respects to St. John’s Church, the historic chapel across from the White House known as the president’s church. It suffered damage in Sunday night’s protest.

‘If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,’ the president said. 

President Trump declared himself the ‘law and order president’ in a tough speech to protesters

President Trump walked across from White House to St. John's Church to hold up a bible for a photo op

President Trump walked across from White House to St. John’s Church to hold up a bible for a photo op

President Trump visited St. John's church, which was damaged during protests on Sunday night

President Trump visited St. John’s church, which was damaged during protests on Sunday night

President Trump walked out of the White House surrounded by Cabinet officials, aides and security

President Trump walked out of the White House surrounded by Cabinet officials, aides and security

President Trump walks in front of graffiti filled wall

President Trump walks in front of graffiti filled wall 

Police fired tear gas into protesters in front of St. John's church to clear them out for the president's photo-op

Police fired tear gas into protesters in front of St. John’s church to clear them out for the president’s photo-op

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General Bill Barr, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined Trump for his walk to St. John's Church

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General Bill Barr, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined Trump for his walk to St. John’s Church

President Trump addressed the nation in the White House Rose Garden before walking to St. John's

President Trump addressed the nation in the White House Rose Garden before walking to St. John’s

Immediately after he finished his remarks, he left the White House to walk to the church that was threatened with fire Sunday night. He walked across the cleared out park surrounded by aides and Secret Service agents.

Before the president spoke in the Rose Garden, Attorney General Bill Barr spoke to law enforcement officials in the park and then left to return to the White House. Shortly after Barr left, the protesters were cleared, shouting ‘don’t shoot’ as officials closed in on horseback and on foot. Tear gas poured down on them and rubber bullets were shot into the crowd.

With the path cleared, Trump took a short walk on a beautiful D.C. night to stand in front of the church, holding up a bible. ‘I am going to pay my respects to a very, very special place,’ he said before his walk over. 

He was joined by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Barr, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary  Mark Esper, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany – all of whom joined him in front of the church to get their picture taken.

Trump was followed by a huge Secret Service entourage and some of the most prominent members of his administration, including daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Others in the cavalcade, which picked its way past ‘FTP’ graffiti and discarded protesters’ belongings, included Pat Cipollone, the White House Counsel who led Trump’s impeachment defense on the floor of the Senate; Dan Scavino, his golf-caddy turned director of social media; adviser Hope Hicks; and Alyssa Farah, the White House director of communications.

Trump was also accompanied by Army General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was in combat uniform, not the dress uniform usually expected of senior officers around the president.

Trump spent less than five minutes in front of the church, long enough to declare ‘greatest country in the world.’ And we’re going to keep it safe.’

A fire burned in the basement of St. John’s Church Sunday night but the chapel was not affected. The church was boarded up during the protests.

During his remarks in the Rose Garden, Trump made reference to the 1807 Insurrection Act and said he would deploy the U.S. military even in the cases where governors don’t seek to call out the National Guard – although he didn’t name it explicitly.

He spoke after truckloads full of D.C. Guard members were spotted south of the White House. The military was also sending troops from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and possibly Fort Belvoir in Virginia, NBC News reported.

“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,’ Trump said in the Rose Garden, where bangs and tear gas canister firings punctuated his remarks.

‘I am mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans,’ Trump said.

In a state, a governor can activate National Guard troops in response to an emergency. In the case of Washington, D.C., the Secretary of the Army has the authority to dispatch forces – as happened both Sunday to help impose an 11pm curfew and on Monday, when the mayor moved it up to 7 pm after a night of more protests, property destruction, and confrontations between police and protesters.

The federal Posse Comitatus statute prohibits the use of the Army and the Navy as a force inside the country.

The White House says Trump can also call on another authority – the 1807 Insurrection act, which was amended in 2006 and allows the president to use the guard to ‘suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition’ that ‘hinders the execution of the laws of a State.’

President Donald Trump walks between lines of riot police in Lafayette Park across from the White House after walking to St John's Church for a photo opportunity

 President Donald Trump walks between lines of riot police in Lafayette Park across from the White House after walking to St John’s Church for a photo opportunity

Military vehicles carrying National Guard personnel drive along West Executive Drive inside the White House complex on Monday afternoon

Military vehicles carrying National Guard personnel drive along West Executive Drive inside the White House complex on Monday afternoon

Protesters are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House

Protesters are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House

Police clear demonstrators from Lafayette Park with the White House in the background

Police clear demonstrators from Lafayette Park with the White House in the background

U.S. Secret Service uniformed division officers face demonstrators in front of the White House

U.S. Secret Service uniformed division officers face demonstrators in front of the White House

Police begin to clear demonstrators gather as they protest the death of George Floyd

Police begin to clear demonstrators gather as they protest the death of George Floyd

Attorney General William Barr, center, stands in Lafayette Park before officials began to clear out protesters ahead of Trump's walk to St. John's church

Attorney General William Barr, center, stands in Lafayette Park before officials began to clear out protesters ahead of Trump’s walk to St. John’s church

Demonstrators hold up their arms in front of a line of police officers as they are sprayed with tear gas

Demonstrators hold up their arms in front of a line of police officers as they are sprayed with tear gas

Police clear the area in front of St. John's church ahead of Trump's visit

Police clear the area in front of St. John’s church ahead of Trump’s visit

President Trump thrusts his fist in the air as he returns to the White House

President Trump thrusts his fist in the air as he returns to the White House

Ivanka Trump returns to the White House with President Trump after the president visited St. John's church

Ivanka Trump returns to the White House with President Trump after the president visited St. John’s church

A protester is arrested near the White House

A protester is arrested near the White House

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said it was one of the authorities being looked at.

Trump, after walking past graffiti-strewn maintenance building and standing in front of St. John’s, didn’t respond to shouted questions about whether the nation was facing an insurgency, or whether he cleared out Lafayette Park for a photo-op.

He warned residents of Washington D.C. he would take the tough action after they had surrounded the White House every evening since Friday night. On Friday night, the first night the protests grew in size, Secret Service agents rushed Trump into the White House bunker and held him there for several minutes as a safety precaution.

‘What happened in the city last night was a total disgrace. As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property. We are putting everybody on warning on a 7:00 curfew that will be strictly enforced,’ Trump said in his Rose Garden remarks.  

Trump attempted to regain control of the situation with his strongly-worded remarks, vow to use force to end the protests and his walk to the church for a photo-op. Scenes from protesters around the country have filled American TV screens in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minnesota who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes. Floyd’s death was ruled a homicide and the officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with his murder.

Both Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker and New York’s Andrew Cuomo immediately rejected Trump’s demand, both telling CNN they would not agree to the deployment of active-duty troops in their states, which include New York City and Chicago. Cuomo also slammed Trump for having protesters – who he said were ‘young, and mostly white’ – out of his path to ‘pose with a Bible’ and Prtizker accused him of making the country more dangerous. ‘He has got to go,’ the Illinois governor said. 

Cuomo said: ‘I was shocked at what they did. I was shocked to see the force used to move protesters who could not have been more peaceful. Calling out the American military for a photo opportunity. It was shameful. Shameful.’

Trump gave governors an early warning of what he had planned, telling them earlier in the day, during a video conference from the Situation Room, that they are ‘weak’ and need to ‘dominate’ cities ravaged by riots or they will look like ‘jerks.’ 

‘You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate,’ audio of the call revealed.

‘The only time it’s successful is when you’re weak and most of you are weak,’ he added, CNN reported, claiming that if governors and local leaders were more tough on rioters, there would be less destruction of their major cities.

‘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,’ Trump said during the 55-minute call. ‘We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.’ 

‘You’re making a mistake because you’re making yourselves look like fools,’ he continued later in the call, claiming that they need to activate more National Guard support as a show of force on city streets.’And some have done a great job. But a lot of you, it’s not – it’s not a great day for our country.’

The president also threatened to deploy the 101st Airborne Division of the Army to provide ‘backup’ to cities ravaged by the riots.

The president made this message by endorsing a statement made by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton: ‘100% Correct. Thank you Tom!’

Cotton wrote on Monday, ‘Anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight.’

‘If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let’s see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they’re facing off with the 101st Airborne Division,’ he continued in the tweet. ‘We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction.’

Trump has pushed for governors to activate the National Guard in there states and has not yet formally addressed the nation since the unrest began.

He did say during his call with governors Monday that he is putting Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley ‘in charge.’ 

The call happened after a weekend in which:

  • It emerged Trump was whisked to a bunker while protesters descended on the White House Friday night, throwing Molotov cocktails and injuring 50 Secret Service agents
  • A protester was reportedly shot dead in Louisville, Kentucky Sunday night
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter was arrested at a protest in New York City Sunday 
  • An armed vigilante in California pulled a gun on rioters who tried to hold up a bank 
  • Across the country, peaceful protesters tried to stop violent opportunists from ransacking stores 
  • In Louisville, protesters formed a human chain to protect one cop who became separated from his unit and outnumbered by crowds 
  • Other cops dropped to their knees in shows of solidarity with protesters and some abandoned riot gear to march with crowds peacefully 
  • In Minneapolis, a tanker plowed through crowds of protesters on a highway; he was then pulled from the rig and beaten by crowds 

The president did not clarify what he meant during his rant to the state leaders, specifically if he was planning to deploy the military to quell protests – and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not clear up the comments during a press briefing Monday afternoon.

‘I’m not going to get ahead of any actions,’ McEnany told reporters in the James S. Brady Briefing Room.

‘Our streets are dominated with a police force and a national guard presence,’ she continued, claiming that police lines are overwhelmed by the rioters.

‘When those lines are overwhelmed, law enforcement gets on the defense,’ she said. ‘So what the president has said, is that he wants to dominate the streets with National Guard, with a police presence.’  

McEnany noted that Milley said during the call, which he was a part of, that a National Guard presence helps to de-escalate situations like the ones popping up all over the country.

She did not clarify if putting Milley in charge means that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be completely overseeing a domestic issue.  

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

Donald Trump threatened on Monday to deploy the Army's 101st Airborne to face off with those rioting in U.S. cities' streets – setting fires, looting and destroying property

Donald Trump threatened on Monday to deploy the Army’s 101st Airborne to face off with those rioting in U.S. cities’ streets – setting fires, looting and destroying property 

Donald Trump, joined by Attorney General Bill Barr (pictured left), told governors during a teleconference in the Situation Room on Monday that they are 'weak' on rioters and need to 'dominate' by arresting and trying more people

Donald Trump, joined by Attorney General Bill Barr (pictured left), told governors during a teleconference in the Situation Room on Monday that they are ‘weak’ on rioters and need to ‘dominate’ by arresting and trying more people

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Louis Vuitton had been boarded up but the looters ripped plywood from one window to break their way inside. George Floyd's name was scrawled on one of the boards

Louis Vuitton had been boarded up but the looters ripped plywood from one window to break their way inside. George Floyd’s name was scrawled on one of the boards 

A young man on a Citibike on Monday morning after taking from Balmain, one of the many stores that was looted on Sunday night

A young man on a Citibike on Monday morning after taking from Balmain, one of the many stores that was looted on Sunday night

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill

He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn't breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn’t breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

WHAT TRUMP TOLD GOVERNORS 

During a 55-minute call with governors, an agitated Trump called them ‘jerks’ and ‘fools.’

‘What happened in the state of Minnesota, they were a laughing stock all over the world.

They took over the police department, the police were running down the street, sirens blazing, the rest of them running. It was on camera.

And then they worked out they’ll probably have to build a new one. But I’ve never seen anything like it and the whole world was laughing.

So two days later I spoke to the governor and the governor was [indistinct] And all if a sudden, I said you’ve got to use the national guard, they didn’t first then they did.

I don’t know what it was, the third night those guys walked through like that stuff like it was butter.

They walked right through and you haven’t had any problems since. I mean they know and they’re not going, to go there, they’re probably going some other place.

But once you cool down and you dominated you took the worst place and you made it, they didn’t even come there last night because there was so much less, because you dominated. You dominated.

Now what happens in New York and it happened [indistinct] in Manhattan, what’s going on in Manhattan I have no idea. New York’s finest, they’ve got to be allowed to do their jobs, I don’t know what’s happening but it’s terrible but because it’s New York, because it’s Manhattan it gets a lot of press. So they really spent a lot of time on it. But New York is going to have to toughen up.

You have the largest police force in the country, 40,000 people I understand but what’s going on in New York is terrible, terrible, of all the places.

What went on last night in Los Angeles with the stores, the Starbucks, is terrible.

No domination. You have to dominate and start imprisoning.’

In another portion of the call, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that he said:

‘We got a lot of men. We have all the men and women that you need. But people aren’t calling them up. You have to dominate

If you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.

And you have to arrest people and you have to try people and they have to go to jail for a long periods of time.’

He also spoke about his own experience in Washington D.C.

‘Washington was under very good control and we’re going to have it under more control. We’re going to pull in thousands of people. But you’ve got to arrest people. You have to try people. You have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff.

And you have to let them know that. They’re trying to get people out on bail in Minneapolis. I understand they’re in there trying to get all these guys out on bail.’

 

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a frequent target of the president in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, responded to the meeting in a statement following where she claimed Trump said the governors would be ‘overridden.’

‘I joined a call with my fellow governors and the current president that was deeply disturbing,’ she said. ‘Instead of offering support or leadership to bring down the temperature at protests, President Trump told governors to ‘put it down’ or we would be ‘overridden.’

A person listening in on the call told CBS News that the president’s message and tone was ‘unhinged.’ Illinois’ governor J.B. Pritzker hit back at him during the call, telling Trump his own rhetoric was fueling the violence. 

In the call, Trump specifically called out Minnesota, where the riots originated after Goerge Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer there last week.

‘What happened in the state of Minnesota, they were a laughing stock all over the world,’ Trump said in the call.

‘They took over the police department, the police were running down the street, sirens blazing, the rest of them running. It was on camera,’ he said, referencing rioters who torched the Minneapolis police station on Friday.

‘They’ll probably have to build a new one,’ Trump said. ‘But I’ve never seen anything like it and the whole world was laughing.’

He then praised his own work by talking with Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on activating the National Guard in the state to help the Twin Cities mitigate violent demonstrators, claiming Walz acted on his suggestion. 

‘Once you cool down and you dominated, you took the worst place and you made it – they didn’t even come there last night because there was so much less, because you dominated,’ he lauded.

But right after the president’s call with governors, Walz held a press conference where he said he would be working to demobilize the National Guard, which he had just activated a few days before upon the encouragement of the president. 

He said the state is working on a ‘transition of our National Guard troops back to their homes and their jobs.’

‘They take time out of their jobs, and many of them will be going back – some of them working as news reporters, some of them working as camera operators, some of them working as teachers. That will begin to happen,’ Walz said.

On the call, Illinois governor J.B. Priztker bluntly told Trump his rhetoric was not helping.

‘It’s been inflammatory, and it’s not OK for that officer to choke George Floyd to death but we have to call for calm. We have to have police reform called for. We’ve called out our National Guard and our State Police, but the rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse,’ Pritzker said, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Trump hit back saying: ‘OK, well thank you very much, J.B. I don’t like your rhetoric very much either because I watched your response to coronavirus, and I don’t like your rhetoric either. I think you could have done a much better job, frankly.’   

Trump also unloaded on New York, claiming that ‘New York’s finest’ were not being ‘allowed to do their jobs.’

‘New York is going to have to toughen up,’ he said.

‘You have the largest police force in the country, 40,000 people I understand but what’s going on in New York is terrible, terrible, of all the places.’ 

Attorney General Bill Barr, who was also on the call, told governors that a joint terrorist task force would be used to track the agitators.

He also told local officials, lawmakers and enforcement to control what is going on in cities rather than react to crowds – and he urged them to ‘go after troublemakers.’

The comments from Trump on increasing arrests come as more than 4,100 people were taken into custody across the country over the weekend in the at least 145 cities participating in protests, demonstrations and riots. 

President Trump held talks with his Barr, law enforcement officials and state leaders as violence continues to escalate in the sixth day of protests in cities all over the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Barr visited the White House for an Oval Office meeting with the president Monday morning, and shortly after, Trump hosted a video conference with governors, law enforcement leaders and national security officials in the Situation Room to discuss ways to keep American communities safe.

Cities across the nation appear war-torn after rioters set establishments and cars in the middle of streets on fire, smashed windows of local stores and looted their shelves and clashed with law enforcement. 

Trump had to flee to the White House bunker to shelter in place for a short period of time on Friday, it was revealed on Sunday, as protesters surrounding the White House. 

Many governors activated the National Guard in their states and sent them to cities being affected by protests turned to violence.  

Governors and mayors also went public, both on their own mediums and in interviews with networks, claiming that while they support rioters’ right to gather, they are pleading for an end to the violence and destruction in their cities as a means of protesting. 

The president did not appear publicly on Sunday to address the rioters, who have engulfed the perimeter of the White House as well taken to the streets in several other U.S. cities, he did weigh in on Twitter, claiming that governors need to activate the National Guard in their states. 

He lauded the improvements over the weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota by the National Guard’s presence – and while the demonstrations have appeared less violent since they started at the end of last week, police in the city said they discovered Sunday caches of homemade firebombs around the city. 

The president has told aides that he’s concerned about his safety as the White House went dark after it turned off its lights in a rare move Sunday night while protests and riots continued a few hundred yards away from the residence.  

The rioters also set a fire to American Flags in Lafayette Square, the park adjacent to the North Lawn of the White House – and they were hit by tear gas by law enforcement. 

More than 50 Secret Service agents were injured in clashes with protesters in the nation’s capital, and more than 4,100 people were arrested across the country over the weekend as everything from peaceful protests to riots emerged in at least 145 cities.  

The extraordinary images were taken Saturday amid the smoldering remains of the 3rd Precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police Department

The extraordinary images were taken Saturday amid the smoldering remains of the 3rd Precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police Department

The group of masked and gloved men used pliers and hammers to prize open the heavy metal chest while others rifled through files and ransacked burnout rooms with complete impunity

The group of masked and gloved men used pliers and hammers to prize open the heavy metal chest while others rifled through files and ransacked burnout rooms with complete impunity

Minneapolis looters are caught on camera hacking at a safe inside the charred shell of an abandoned police precinct in surreal scenes that lay bare the wanton lawlessness gripping the US, exclusive photos by DailyMail.com show

Minneapolis looters are caught on camera hacking at a safe inside the charred shell of an abandoned police precinct in surreal scenes that lay bare the wanton lawlessness gripping the US, exclusive photos by DailyMail.com show

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

D.C. was also among the 40 cities that imposed a curfew as riots escalated after sundown.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Monday that some of the protesters that terrorized the city overnight had come prepared with tools and supplies, and claimed that they set fires to draw police away from where they were planning to riot, loot and cause destruction.

‘We recognize that people are frustrated and mad but tearing up our beautiful city is not the way to bring attention to what is a righteous cause,’ Bowser told NBC News’ Today.

Just after the 11:00 p.m. curfew passed, a fire broke out at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was spared from protests the day before. 

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

While Trump remained out of sight in the midst of the riots, his advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.

Instead, Trump has urged governors to activate the National Guard, demanding they ‘get tough, but has not sought control of the Army reservists himself to quell the nationwide riots.

The violence ensued after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while in a white police officer’s custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

A cellphone video of the incident went viral where Derek Chauvin, 44, can be seen holding his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest for more than eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe.

While Floyd was handcuffed, four cops, including Chauvin, were holding him down.

Chauvin was fired after the video emerged and taken into custody on Friday after the violent protesters demanded he be arrested – and he is being charged with third-degree murder.

The other three officers have not been arrested.

Trump has also blamed the media, Democrats and outside groups for exacerbating the riots – asserting on Sunday that he is classifying the far-left anti-fascists group Antifa as a terrorist organization.

Antifa has no official leaders, and it could appear their fingerprints are all over the riots as their demonstrations include violent tactics that they deem justifiable.

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers 'get tough' and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd's death

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers ‘get tough’ and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd’s death

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul 

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the state has not yet called in the National Guard – and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the state has not yet called in the National Guard – and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

 

‘Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night,’ Trump tweeted Sunday morning. ‘The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!’

Minnesota law enforcement say that they believe white supremacists have infiltrated the riots in Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to stoke violent demonstrators.

‘They’re agitators, ‘Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell told CNN on Sunday, adding that there have been reports of Antifa members attending demonstrations.

While Trump does feel an outside group is involved, he asserted Monday that he does not believe that there were white supremacist groups mixed in with those protesting the death of George Floyd.

He instead doubled-down on blaming Antifa for the violent skirmishes with police.

‘I don’t see any indication that there were any white supremest groups mixing in. This is an ANTIFA Organization,’ the president asserted.

‘It seems that the first time we saw it in a major way was Occupy Wall Street. It’s the same mindset,’ Trump said, tagging ‘Fox & Friends’ host Brian Kilmeade and crediting him for the comment.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

He also replied ‘TRUE!’ to the Kilmeade quote, and misspelled the word ‘supremacist.’

Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was asked Friday about reports that White Supremacists were involved and he answered, ‘My suspicions and what I’ve seen on this, yes.’

‘It gets worse than that,’ he added. ‘The cartels, who are wondering if there was a break in their drugs transmissions, are trying to take advantage of the chaos. That’s why this situation is on a federal level.’

While governors and mayors scramble to create more peace in their major cities, the president is blaming them not calling in the National Guard for aggravating the violent situations.

‘Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,’ Trump urged in a tweet. ‘These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW.’

‘The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe,’ he continued, referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. ‘Is this what America wants? NO!!!’

By Sunday evening, Trump followed up his calls for the National Guard with a tweet that simply read: ‘LAW & ORDER!’

So far, 15 states and Washington, D.C. have deployed the Guard.

Rioters continue to take to the streets, becoming especially active after sundown, in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and beyond. 

While there have been at least 4,100 arrests in cities across the country this weekend and countless protesters, rioters and law enforcement officials have been injured, there are at least five instances where people have been killed in the midst of the violence.

Gunfire rang out during the riots this weekend leading to deaths in Detroit, Michigan and Indianapolis, Indiana.

In Omaha, Nebraska, a 22-year-old black protester was killed in a struggle with a local business owner.

A man was shot dead by law enforcement officers in Louisville on Sunday on the fourth night of unrest in the city in a shooting believed to be linked to the protests.

Louisville’s protests, in particular, have also focused on the March 13 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door.  

Chaos had unfolded  in cities across America with more than 50 Secret Service agents injured in clashes with protesters in Washington DC, police charging into demonstrators in New York City and lootings continuing to unfold in major cities like California, Philadelphia and Boston.  

Demonstrations from Washington DC to Los Angeles swelled from peaceful protests – sparked by the death of a black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody last Monday – into scenes of violence that drew National Guard troops in at least 15 states and Washington. 

More than 4,100 people were arrested this weekend alone as the violence continued to escalate and cities enacted strict curfews.  

WASHINGTON DC: Chaos continued to unfold in cities across America late Sunday night including Washington DC, just steps from the White House, where police and Secret Service deployed tear gas as they faced off with protesters during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd

WASHINGTON DC: Chaos continued to unfold in cities across America late Sunday night including Washington DC, just steps from the White House, where police and Secret Service deployed tear gas as they faced off with protesters during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd

WASHINGTON DC: Police stand guard outside the White House late Sunday as chaotic demonstrations took place in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON DC: Police stand guard outside the White House late Sunday as chaotic demonstrations took place in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters jump on a street sign near a burning barricade near the White House late on Sunday. Fires were set in the historic St. John's Episcopal Church and Lafayette Park in front of the White House

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters jump on a street sign near a burning barricade near the White House late on Sunday. Fires were set in the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church and Lafayette Park in front of the White House

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A protester is pinned down by a police officer as cops in riot gear including shields and helmets clash with protesters on Sunday night

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A protester is pinned down by a police officer as cops in riot gear including shields and helmets clash with protesters on Sunday night 

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Smoke and debris at a looted hardware store in Philadelphia last night after it was targeted by looters during the George Floyd riots

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Smoke and debris at a looted hardware store in Philadelphia last night after it was targeted by looters during the George Floyd riots 

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA: An armed vigilante attempts to stop a bank robbery in Santa Monica during the widespread riots yesterday, as protesters turned on looters in some places

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA: An armed vigilante attempts to stop a bank robbery in Santa Monica during the widespread riots yesterday, as protesters turned on looters in some places 

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: People flee for their lives as a tanker truck drives towards thousands of protesters on a highway yesterday. The truck did not appear to have struck anyone

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: People flee for their lives as a tanker truck drives towards thousands of protesters on a highway yesterday. The truck did not appear to have struck anyone 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Protests continued to rage fury in Boston on Sunday evening where a police car was set ablaze

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Protests continued to rage fury in Boston on Sunday evening where a police car was set ablaze 

WHAT IS THE ANTI-FASCIST MOVEMENT (ANTIFA)

The anti-fascist protest movement known as antifa gained new prominence in the United States after the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in August 2017. 

In Charlottesville and at many subsequent events held by white supremacists or right-wing extremists, antifa activists have aggressively confronted what they believe to be authoritarian movements and groups. 

While most counter-protestors tend to be peaceful, there have been several instances where encounters between antifa and the far-right have turned violent.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

These violent counter-protesters are often part of ‘antifa’ (short for ‘antifascist’), a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements. Their ideology is rooted in the assumption that the Nazi party would never have been able to come to power in Germany if people had more aggressively fought them in the streets in the 1920s and 30s. 

Most antifa come from the anarchist movement or from the far left, though since the 2016 presidential election, some people with more mainstream political backgrounds have also joined their ranks.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red. The antifa movement began in the 1960s in Europe, and had reached the US by the end of the 1970s. Most people who show up to counter or oppose white supremacist public events are peaceful demonstrators, but when antifa show up, as they frequently do, they can increase the chances that an event may turn violent. 

Antifa have expanded their definition of fascist/fascism to include not just white supremacists and other extremists, but also many conservatives and supporters of President Trump. 

Because there is no unifying body for antifa, it is impossible to know how many ‘members’ are currently active. Different localities have antifa populations of different strengths, but antifa are also sometimes willing to travel hundreds of miles to oppose a white supremacist event.

Source: Anti-Defamation League 

Trump says ‘I am your law and order president’


President Donald Trump declared himself the ‘law and order president’ Monday night as law enforcement officials used rubber bullets, tear gas and officers on horse back to clear out protesters so Trump could walk to an historic church across from the White House for a photo-op.

‘I am your president of law and order,’ Trump said in the Rose Garden as the split screen on televisions across the nation showed peaceful protesters being fired upon and cleared out 30 minutes before Washington D.C.’s curfew went into affect. 

‘The biggest victims of the rioting are peace loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as they are president, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,’ Trump said in brief remarks.

Armed offices on horse back cleared protesters from around the White House so the president could walk across Layafette Park to pay his respects to St. John’s Church, the historic chapel across from the White House known as the president’s church. It suffered damage in Sunday night’s protest.

‘If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,’ the president said. 

President Trump declared himself the ‘law and order president’ in a tough speech to protesters

President Trump walked across from White House to St. John's Church to hold up a bible for a photo op

President Trump walked across from White House to St. John’s Church to hold up a bible for a photo op

President Trump visited St. John's church, which was damaged during protests on Sunday night

President Trump visited St. John’s church, which was damaged during protests on Sunday night

President Trump walked out of the White House surrounded by Cabinet officials, aides and security

President Trump walked out of the White House surrounded by Cabinet officials, aides and security

President Trump walks in front of graffiti filled wall

President Trump walks in front of graffiti filled wall 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General Bill Barr, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined Trump for his walk to St. John's Church

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General Bill Barr, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined Trump for his walk to St. John’s Church

President Trump addressed the nation in the White House Rose Garden before walking to St. John's

President Trump addressed the nation in the White House Rose Garden before walking to St. John’s

Immediately after he finished his remarks, he left the White House to walk to the church that was threatened with fire Sunday night. He walked across the cleared out park surrounded by aides and Secret Service agents.

Before the president spoke in the Rose Garden, Attorney General Bill Barr spoke to law enforcement officials in the park and then left to return to the White House. Shortly after Barr left, the protesters were cleared, shouting ‘don’t shoot’ as officials closed in on horseback and on foot. Tear gas poured down on them and rubber bullets were shot into the crowd.

With the path cleared, Trump took a short walk on a beautiful D.C. night to stand in front of the church, holding up a bible. 

He was joined by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Barr, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary  Mark Esper, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany – all of whom joined him in front of the church to get their picture taken.

Trump spent less than five minutes in front of the church, long enough to declare ‘greatest country in the world.’ And we’re going to keep it safe.’

A fire burned in the basement of St. John’s Church Sunday night but the chapel was not affected. The church was boarded up during the protests.

‘What happened in the city last night was a total disgrace. As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property. We are putting everybody on warning on a 7:00 curfew that will be strictly enforced,’ Trump told Washington D.C. residents during his Rose Garden remarks.  

Donald Trump told governors during a video conference from the Situation Room on Monday that they are ‘weak’ and need to ‘dominate’ cities ravaged by riots or they will look like ‘jerks.’ 

‘You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate,’ audio of the call revealed.

‘The only time it’s successful is when you’re weak and most of you are weak,’ he added, CNN reported, claiming that if governors and local leaders were more tough on rioters, there would be less destruction of their major cities.

‘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,’ Trump said during the 55-minute call. ‘We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.’ 

‘You’re making a mistake because you’re making yourselves look like fools,’ he continued later in the call, claiming that they need to activate more National Guard support as a show of force on city streets.’And some have done a great job. But a lot of you, it’s not – it’s not a great day for our country.’

The president also threatened to deploy the 101st Airborne Division of the Army to provide ‘backup’ to cities ravaged by the riots.

The president made this message by endorsing a statement made by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton: ‘100% Correct. Thank you Tom!’

Cotton wrote on Monday, ‘Anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight.’

‘If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let’s see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they’re facing off with the 101st Airborne Division,’ he continued in the tweet. ‘We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction.’

Trump has pushed for governors to activate the National Guard in there states and has not yet formally addressed the nation since the unrest began.

He did say during his call with governors Monday that he is putting Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley ‘in charge.’ 

The call happened after a weekend in which:

  • It emerged Trump was whisked to a bunker while protesters descended on the White House Friday night, throwing Molotov cocktails and injuring 50 Secret Service agents
  • A protester was reportedly shot dead in Louisville, Kentucky Sunday night
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter was arrested at a protest in New York City Sunday 
  • An armed vigilante in California pulled a gun on rioters who tried to hold up a bank 
  • Across the country, peaceful protesters tried to stop violent opportunists from ransacking stores 
  • In Louisville, protesters formed a human chain to protect one cop who became separated from his unit and outnumbered by crowds 
  • Other cops dropped to their knees in shows of solidarity with protesters and some abandoned riot gear to march with crowds peacefully 
  • In Minneapolis, a tanker plowed through crowds of protesters on a highway; he was then pulled from the rig and beaten by crowds 

The president did not clarify what he meant during his rant to the state leaders, specifically if he was planning to deploy the military to quell protests – and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not clear up the comments during a press briefing Monday afternoon.

‘I’m not going to get ahead of any actions,’ McEnany told reporters in the James S. Brady Briefing Room.

‘Our streets are dominated with a police force and a national guard presence,’ she continued, claiming that police lines are overwhelmed by the rioters.

‘When those lines are overwhelmed, law enforcement gets on the defense,’ she said. ‘So what the president has said, is that he wants to dominate the streets with National Guard, with a police presence.’  

McEnany noted that Milley said during the call, which he was a part of, that a National Guard presence helps to de-escalate situations like the ones popping up all over the country.

She did not clarify if putting Milley in charge means that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be completely overseeing a domestic issue.  

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

Donald Trump threatened on Monday to deploy the Army's 101st Airborne to face off with those rioting in U.S. cities' streets ¿ setting fires, looting and destroying property

Donald Trump threatened on Monday to deploy the Army’s 101st Airborne to face off with those rioting in U.S. cities’ streets – setting fires, looting and destroying property 

Donald Trump, joined by Attorney General Bill Barr (pictured left), told governors during a teleconference in the Situation Room on Monday that they are 'weak' on rioters and need to 'dominate' by arresting and trying more people

Donald Trump, joined by Attorney General Bill Barr (pictured left), told governors during a teleconference in the Situation Room on Monday that they are ‘weak’ on rioters and need to ‘dominate’ by arresting and trying more people

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Louis Vuitton had been boarded up but the looters ripped plywood from one window to break their way inside. George Floyd's name was scrawled on one of the boards

Louis Vuitton had been boarded up but the looters ripped plywood from one window to break their way inside. George Floyd’s name was scrawled on one of the boards 

A young man on a Citibike on Monday morning after taking from Balmain, one of the many stores that was looted on Sunday night

A young man on a Citibike on Monday morning after taking from Balmain, one of the many stores that was looted on Sunday night

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill

He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn't breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn’t breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck

WHAT TRUMP TOLD GOVERNORS 

During a 55-minute call with governors, an agitated Trump called them ‘jerks’ and ‘fools.’

‘What happened in the state of Minnesota, they were a laughing stock all over the world.

They took over the police department, the police were running down the street, sirens blazing, the rest of them running. It was on camera.

And then they worked out they’ll probably have to build a new one. But I’ve never seen anything like it and the whole world was laughing.

So two days later I spoke to the governor and the governor was [indistinct] And all if a sudden, I said you’ve got to use the national guard, they didn’t first then they did.

I don’t know what it was, the third night those guys walked through like that stuff like it was butter.

They walked right through and you haven’t had any problems since. I mean they know and they’re not going, to go there, they’re probably going some other place.

But once you cool down and you dominated you took the worst place and you made it, they didn’t even come there last night because there was so much less, because you dominated. You dominated.

Now what happens in New York and it happened [indistinct] in Manhattan, what’s going on in Manhattan I have no idea. New York’s finest, they’ve got to be allowed to do their jobs, I don’t know what’s happening but it’s terrible but because it’s New York, because it’s Manhattan it gets a lot of press. So they really spent a lot of time on it. But New York is going to have to toughen up.

You have the largest police force in the country, 40,000 people I understand but what’s going on in New York is terrible, terrible, of all the places.

What went on last night in Los Angeles with the stores, the Starbucks, is terrible.

No domination. You have to dominate and start imprisoning.’

In another portion of the call, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that he said:

‘We got a lot of men. We have all the men and women that you need. But people aren’t calling them up. You have to dominate

If you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.

And you have to arrest people and you have to try people and they have to go to jail for a long periods of time.’

He also spoke about his own experience in Washington D.C.

‘Washington was under very good control and we’re going to have it under more control. We’re going to pull in thousands of people. But you’ve got to arrest people. You have to try people. You have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff.

And you have to let them know that. They’re trying to get people out on bail in Minneapolis. I understand they’re in there trying to get all these guys out on bail.’

 

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a frequent target of the president in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, responded to the meeting in a statement following where she claimed Trump said the governors would be ‘overridden.’

‘I joined a call with my fellow governors and the current president that was deeply disturbing,’ she said. ‘Instead of offering support or leadership to bring down the temperature at protests, President Trump told governors to ‘put it down’ or we would be ‘overridden.’

A person listening in on the call told CBS News that the president’s message and tone was ‘unhinged.’ Illinois’ governor J.B. Pritzker hit back at him during the call, telling Trump his own rhetoric was fueling the violence. 

In the call, Trump specifically called out Minnesota, where the riots originated after Goerge Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer there last week.

‘What happened in the state of Minnesota, they were a laughing stock all over the world,’ Trump said in the call.

‘They took over the police department, the police were running down the street, sirens blazing, the rest of them running. It was on camera,’ he said, referencing rioters who torched the Minneapolis police station on Friday.

‘They’ll probably have to build a new one,’ Trump said. ‘But I’ve never seen anything like it and the whole world was laughing.’

He then praised his own work by talking with Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on activating the National Guard in the state to help the Twin Cities mitigate violent demonstrators, claiming Walz acted on his suggestion. 

‘Once you cool down and you dominated, you took the worst place and you made it – they didn’t even come there last night because there was so much less, because you dominated,’ he lauded.

But right after the president’s call with governors, Walz held a press conference where he said he would be working to demobilize the National Guard, which he had just activated a few days before upon the encouragement of the president. 

He said the state is working on a ‘transition of our National Guard troops back to their homes and their jobs.’

‘They take time out of their jobs, and many of them will be going back – some of them working as news reporters, some of them working as camera operators, some of them working as teachers. That will begin to happen,’ Walz said.

On the call, Illinois governor J.B. Priztker bluntly told Trump his rhetoric was not helping.

‘It’s been inflammatory, and it’s not OK for that officer to choke George Floyd to death but we have to call for calm. We have to have police reform called for. We’ve called out our National Guard and our State Police, but the rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse,’ Pritzker said, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Trump hit back saying: ‘OK, well thank you very much, J.B. I don’t like your rhetoric very much either because I watched your response to coronavirus, and I don’t like your rhetoric either. I think you could have done a much better job, frankly.’   

Trump also unloaded on New York, claiming that ‘New York’s finest’ were not being ‘allowed to do their jobs.’

‘New York is going to have to toughen up,’ he said.

‘You have the largest police force in the country, 40,000 people I understand but what’s going on in New York is terrible, terrible, of all the places.’ 

Attorney General Bill Barr, who was also on the call, told governors that a joint terrorist task force would be used to track the agitators.

He also told local officials, lawmakers and enforcement to control what is going on in cities rather than react to crowds – and he urged them to ‘go after troublemakers.’

The comments from Trump on increasing arrests come as more than 4,100 people were taken into custody across the country over the weekend in the at least 145 cities participating in protests, demonstrations and riots. 

President Trump held talks with his Barr, law enforcement officials and state leaders as violence continues to escalate in the sixth day of protests in cities all over the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Barr visited the White House for an Oval Office meeting with the president Monday morning, and shortly after, Trump hosted a video conference with governors, law enforcement leaders and national security officials in the Situation Room to discuss ways to keep American communities safe.

Cities across the nation appear war-torn after rioters set establishments and cars in the middle of streets on fire, smashed windows of local stores and looted their shelves and clashed with law enforcement. 

Trump had to flee to the White House bunker to shelter in place for a short period of time on Friday, it was revealed on Sunday, as protesters surrounding the White House. 

Many governors activated the National Guard in their states and sent them to cities being affected by protests turned to violence.  

Governors and mayors also went public, both on their own mediums and in interviews with networks, claiming that while they support rioters’ right to gather, they are pleading for an end to the violence and destruction in their cities as a means of protesting. 

The president did not appear publicly on Sunday to address the rioters, who have engulfed the perimeter of the White House as well taken to the streets in several other U.S. cities, he did weigh in on Twitter, claiming that governors need to activate the National Guard in their states. 

He lauded the improvements over the weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota by the National Guard’s presence – and while the demonstrations have appeared less violent since they started at the end of last week, police in the city said they discovered Sunday caches of homemade firebombs around the city. 

The president has told aides that he’s concerned about his safety as the White House went dark after it turned off its lights in a rare move Sunday night while protests and riots continued a few hundred yards away from the residence.  

The rioters also set a fire to American Flags in Lafayette Square, the park adjacent to the North Lawn of the White House – and they were hit by tear gas by law enforcement. 

More than 50 Secret Service agents were injured in clashes with protesters in the nation’s capital, and more than 4,100 people were arrested across the country over the weekend as everything from peaceful protests to riots emerged in at least 145 cities.  

The extraordinary images were taken Saturday amid the smoldering remains of the 3rd Precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police Department

The extraordinary images were taken Saturday amid the smoldering remains of the 3rd Precinct headquarters of the Minneapolis Police Department

The group of masked and gloved men used pliers and hammers to prize open the heavy metal chest while others rifled through files and ransacked burnout rooms with complete impunity

The group of masked and gloved men used pliers and hammers to prize open the heavy metal chest while others rifled through files and ransacked burnout rooms with complete impunity

Minneapolis looters are caught on camera hacking at a safe inside the charred shell of an abandoned police precinct in surreal scenes that lay bare the wanton lawlessness gripping the US, exclusive photos by DailyMail.com show

Minneapolis looters are caught on camera hacking at a safe inside the charred shell of an abandoned police precinct in surreal scenes that lay bare the wanton lawlessness gripping the US, exclusive photos by DailyMail.com show

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

D.C. was also among the 40 cities that imposed a curfew as riots escalated after sundown.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Monday that some of the protesters that terrorized the city overnight had come prepared with tools and supplies, and claimed that they set fires to draw police away from where they were planning to riot, loot and cause destruction.

‘We recognize that people are frustrated and mad but tearing up our beautiful city is not the way to bring attention to what is a righteous cause,’ Bowser told NBC News’ Today.

Just after the 11:00 p.m. curfew passed, a fire broke out at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was spared from protests the day before. 

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

While Trump remained out of sight in the midst of the riots, his advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.

Instead, Trump has urged governors to activate the National Guard, demanding they ‘get tough, but has not sought control of the Army reservists himself to quell the nationwide riots.

The violence ensued after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while in a white police officer’s custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

A cellphone video of the incident went viral where Derek Chauvin, 44, can be seen holding his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest for more than eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe.

While Floyd was handcuffed, four cops, including Chauvin, were holding him down.

Chauvin was fired after the video emerged and taken into custody on Friday after the violent protesters demanded he be arrested – and he is being charged with third-degree murder.

The other three officers have not been arrested.

Trump has also blamed the media, Democrats and outside groups for exacerbating the riots – asserting on Sunday that he is classifying the far-left anti-fascists group Antifa as a terrorist organization.

Antifa has no official leaders, and it could appear their fingerprints are all over the riots as their demonstrations include violent tactics that they deem justifiable.

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers 'get tough' and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd's death

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers ‘get tough’ and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd’s death

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul 

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ¿ the state has not yet called in the National Guard ¿ and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the state has not yet called in the National Guard – and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

 

‘Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night,’ Trump tweeted Sunday morning. ‘The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!’

Minnesota law enforcement say that they believe white supremacists have infiltrated the riots in Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to stoke violent demonstrators.

‘They’re agitators, ‘Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell told CNN on Sunday, adding that there have been reports of Antifa members attending demonstrations.

While Trump does feel an outside group is involved, he asserted Monday that he does not believe that there were white supremacist groups mixed in with those protesting the death of George Floyd.

He instead doubled-down on blaming Antifa for the violent skirmishes with police.

‘I don’t see any indication that there were any white supremest groups mixing in. This is an ANTIFA Organization,’ the president asserted.

‘It seems that the first time we saw it in a major way was Occupy Wall Street. It’s the same mindset,’ Trump said, tagging ‘Fox & Friends’ host Brian Kilmeade and crediting him for the comment.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

He also replied ‘TRUE!’ to the Kilmeade quote, and misspelled the word ‘supremacist.’

Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was asked Friday about reports that White Supremacists were involved and he answered, ‘My suspicions and what I’ve seen on this, yes.’

‘It gets worse than that,’ he added. ‘The cartels, who are wondering if there was a break in their drugs transmissions, are trying to take advantage of the chaos. That’s why this situation is on a federal level.’

While governors and mayors scramble to create more peace in their major cities, the president is blaming them not calling in the National Guard for aggravating the violent situations.

‘Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,’ Trump urged in a tweet. ‘These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW.’

‘The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe,’ he continued, referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. ‘Is this what America wants? NO!!!’

By Sunday evening, Trump followed up his calls for the National Guard with a tweet that simply read: ‘LAW & ORDER!’

So far, 15 states and Washington, D.C. have deployed the Guard.

Rioters continue to take to the streets, becoming especially active after sundown, in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and beyond. 

While there have been at least 4,100 arrests in cities across the country this weekend and countless protesters, rioters and law enforcement officials have been injured, there are at least five instances where people have been killed in the midst of the violence.

Gunfire rang out during the riots this weekend leading to deaths in Detroit, Michigan and Indianapolis, Indiana.

In Omaha, Nebraska, a 22-year-old black protester was killed in a struggle with a local business owner.

A man was shot dead by law enforcement officers in Louisville on Sunday on the fourth night of unrest in the city in a shooting believed to be linked to the protests.

Louisville’s protests, in particular, have also focused on the March 13 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door.  

Chaos had unfolded  in cities across America with more than 50 Secret Service agents injured in clashes with protesters in Washington DC, police charging into demonstrators in New York City and lootings continuing to unfold in major cities like California, Philadelphia and Boston.  

Demonstrations from Washington DC to Los Angeles swelled from peaceful protests – sparked by the death of a black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody last Monday – into scenes of violence that drew National Guard troops in at least 15 states and Washington. 

More than 4,100 people were arrested this weekend alone as the violence continued to escalate and cities enacted strict curfews.  

WASHINGTON DC: Chaos continued to unfold in cities across America late Sunday night including Washington DC, just steps from the White House, where police and Secret Service deployed tear gas as they faced off with protesters during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd

WASHINGTON DC: Chaos continued to unfold in cities across America late Sunday night including Washington DC, just steps from the White House, where police and Secret Service deployed tear gas as they faced off with protesters during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd

WASHINGTON DC: Police stand guard outside the White House late Sunday as chaotic demonstrations took place in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON DC: Police stand guard outside the White House late Sunday as chaotic demonstrations took place in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters jump on a street sign near a burning barricade near the White House late on Sunday. Fires were set in the historic St. John's Episcopal Church and Lafayette Park in front of the White House

WASHINGTON DC: Protesters jump on a street sign near a burning barricade near the White House late on Sunday. Fires were set in the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church and Lafayette Park in front of the White House

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A protester is pinned down by a police officer as cops in riot gear including shields and helmets clash with protesters on Sunday night

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A protester is pinned down by a police officer as cops in riot gear including shields and helmets clash with protesters on Sunday night 

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Smoke and debris at a looted hardware store in Philadelphia last night after it was targeted by looters during the George Floyd riots

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Smoke and debris at a looted hardware store in Philadelphia last night after it was targeted by looters during the George Floyd riots 

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA: An armed vigilante attempts to stop a bank robbery in Santa Monica during the widespread riots yesterday, as protesters turned on looters in some places

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA: An armed vigilante attempts to stop a bank robbery in Santa Monica during the widespread riots yesterday, as protesters turned on looters in some places 

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: People flee for their lives as a tanker truck drives towards thousands of protesters on a highway yesterday. The truck did not appear to have struck anyone

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: People flee for their lives as a tanker truck drives towards thousands of protesters on a highway yesterday. The truck did not appear to have struck anyone 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Protests continued to rage fury in Boston on Sunday evening where a police car was set ablaze

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Protests continued to rage fury in Boston on Sunday evening where a police car was set ablaze 

WHAT IS THE ANTI-FASCIST MOVEMENT (ANTIFA)

The anti-fascist protest movement known as antifa gained new prominence in the United States after the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in August 2017. 

In Charlottesville and at many subsequent events held by white supremacists or right-wing extremists, antifa activists have aggressively confronted what they believe to be authoritarian movements and groups. 

While most counter-protestors tend to be peaceful, there have been several instances where encounters between antifa and the far-right have turned violent.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

These violent counter-protesters are often part of ‘antifa’ (short for ‘antifascist’), a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements. Their ideology is rooted in the assumption that the Nazi party would never have been able to come to power in Germany if people had more aggressively fought them in the streets in the 1920s and 30s. 

Most antifa come from the anarchist movement or from the far left, though since the 2016 presidential election, some people with more mainstream political backgrounds have also joined their ranks.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red. The antifa movement began in the 1960s in Europe, and had reached the US by the end of the 1970s. Most people who show up to counter or oppose white supremacist public events are peaceful demonstrators, but when antifa show up, as they frequently do, they can increase the chances that an event may turn violent. 

Antifa have expanded their definition of fascist/fascism to include not just white supremacists and other extremists, but also many conservatives and supporters of President Trump. 

Because there is no unifying body for antifa, it is impossible to know how many ‘members’ are currently active. Different localities have antifa populations of different strengths, but antifa are also sometimes willing to travel hundreds of miles to oppose a white supremacist event.

Source: Anti-Defamation League 

George Floyd was MURDERED says independent autopsy ordered by his family


George Floyd WAS murdered by Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin after knee on his neck ’caused asphyxia that led to lack of blood flow to brain’, says independent autopsy ordered by family

An independent autopsy ordered by the family of George Floyd has found that he was killed by asphyxia due to ‘neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain’.

Attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Antonio Romanucci, who are representing the family of George Floyd, announced the findings of the independent autopsy Monday afternoon. 

Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson were hired by the Floyd family’s legal team to conduct the independent autopsy.  

The pathologists say the sustained pressure applied by Officer Derek Chauvin on George Floyd’s neck impeded blood flow to his brain, while weight applied by another officer, who had placed both of his knees into his back, also impeded his ability to breath. 

Their independent evaluation also found that Floyd had ‘no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death.’

‘The compressive pressure on the neck are not seen at autopsy because the pressure is released by the time the body has come to the medical office. It can only be seen when the pressure is being applied – or in this instance in the video. 

‘This is confirmed by information from myself, from Dr. Wilson, and from the family,’ Baden said. ‘[Mr. Floyd] was in good health.’

A private autopsy ordered by the family of George Floyd has found that he was killed by asphyxia due to ‘neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain’ 

Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white cop who has since been arrested, was seen in footage kneeling on Floyd's neck for eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe (incident pictured)

Chauvin was taken into custody on Friday after protesters called for him to be arrested. He has been charged with third-degree murder

Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white cop who has since been arrested, was seen in footage kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe (incident pictured)

The cause of death was ruled mechanical asphyxia, with the manner of death ruled a homicide.  

The findings of Baden and Wilson greatly differ from the ruiling of an autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office on Floyd last week.

The county’s autopsy found ‘no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation,’ instead suggesting Floyd likely died from a combination of underlying health conditions and potential intoxicants in his system that were exacerbated by the restraint placed on him by police officers. 

Baden criticized those findings Monday, pointing out that the emphasis the pressure on his neck may have had on his death wouldn’t show up in an autopsy because the pressure is released by the time body arrived at the examiner’s office.

‘It can only be seen when the pressure is being applied – or in this instance in the video,’ Baden said. ‘Pressure on the neck can interfere with blood flow and oxygen going to the brain, and pressure to the back interferes with breathing. 

Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day after being restrained by officer Derek Chauvin, who had pinned him to the ground and kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his repeated cries of ‘I can’t breathe.’ 

‘George died because he needed a breath,’ Crump said during the Monday afternoon news conference. ‘I implore all of us to take a breath for justice, to take a breath for peace, to take a breath for our country and to take a breath for George.’ 

Floyd’s family had dispute the county medical examiner’s findings last week, calling notions he had any underlying health conditions ‘an illusion’.

‘The family and I reject this notion from the Minneapolis Medical Examiner that the knee from the police officer on George’s neck for almost nine minutes was not the proximate cause of his death,’ the Floyd family’s lawyer, Ben Crump said in a statement over the weekend.

‘The family does not trust anything coming from the Minneapolis Police Department. How can they?’ attorney Ben Crump said. ‘We already saw the truth.’

This is a developing story 

George Floyd was MURDERED says independent autopsy ordered by his family



George Floyd was MURDERED says independent autopsy ordered by his family caused by Officer Chauvin’s knee on his neck ’caused asphyxia’ that ‘led to lack of blood flow to the brain’

A private autopsy ordered by the family of George Floyd has found that he was killed by asphyxia due to ‘neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain’.

Attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Antonio Romanucci, who are representing the family of George Floyd, announced the findings of the independent autopsy Monday afternoon. 

Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson were hired by the Floyd family’s legal team to conduct the independent autopsy.  

The pathologists say the sustained pressure applied by Officer Derek Chauvin on George Floyd’s neck impeded blood flow to his brain, while weight applied by another officer, who had placed both of his knees into his back, also impeded his ability to breath. 

Their independent evaluation also found that Floyd had ‘no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death.’

‘The compressive pressure on the neck are not seen at autopsy because the pressure is released by the time the body has come to the medical office. It can only be seen when the pressure is being applied – or in this instance in the video. 

‘This is confirmed by information from myself, from Dr. Wilson, and from the family,’ Baden said. ‘[Mr. Floyd] was in good health.’

The cause of death was ruled mechanical asphyxia, with the manner of death ruled a homicide.  

‘George died because he needed a breath,’ Crump said during a Monday afternoon news conference. ‘I implore all of us to take a breath for justice, to take a breath for peace, to take a breath for our country and to take a breath for George.’

Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day after being restrained by officer Derek Chauvin, who had pinned him to the ground and kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his repeated cries of ‘I can’t breathe.’

An autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office the following day found ‘no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.’ The report also said Floyd had underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.

In conclusion, the medical examiner ruled Floyd likely died from a combination of underlying health conditions and potential intoxicants in his system that were exacerbated by the restraint placed on him by police officers.

But the notion was vehemently rejected by the Floyd family, who enlisted the services of renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to conduct a second, independent autopsy. They say the underlying health conditions cited in the official report are ‘an illusion’.

Trump tells governors ‘most of you are weak’ on violent protesters and says: ‘You have to dominate’


Donald Trump told governors during a video conference from the Situation Room on Monday that they are ‘weak’ and need to ‘dominate’ cities ravaged by riots or they will look like ‘jerks.’ 

‘You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate,’ audio of the call revealed.

‘The only time it’s successful is when you’re weak and most of you are weak,’ he added, CNN reported, claiming that if governors and local leaders were more tough on rioters, there would be less destruction of their major cities.

‘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,’ Trump said during the call. ‘We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We´re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.’

‘You’re making a mistake because you’re making yourselves look like fools,’ he continued later in the call, claiming that they need to activate more National Guard support as a show of force on city streets.’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 person listening in on the call told CBS News that the president’s message and tone was ‘unhinged.’ 

Trump specifically called out Minnesota, where the riots originated after Goerge Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer there last week.

‘What happened in the state of Minnesota, they were a laughing stock all over the world,’ Trump said in the call.

‘They took over the police department, the police were running down the street, sirens blazing, the rest of them running. It was on camera,’ he said, referencing rioters who torched the Minneapolis police station on Friday.

‘They’ll probably have to build a new one,’ Trump said. ‘But I’ve never seen anything like it and the whole world was laughing.’

He then praised his work by talking with Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on activating the National Guard in the state to help the Twin Cities mitigate violent demonstrators.

‘Once you cool down and you dominated, you took the worst place and you made it – they didn’t even come there last night because there was so much less, because you dominated,’ he lauded.

Walz held a press conference shortly after the call, where he said he would be working to demobilize the National Guard, which he had just activated a few days before.

Attorney General Bill Barr, who was also on the call, told governors that a joint terrorist task force would be used to track the agitators.

He also told local officials, lawmakers and enforcement to control what is going on in cities rather than react to crowds – and he urged them to ‘go after troublemakers.’

The comments from Trump on increasing arrests come as more than 4,100 people were taken into custody across the country over the weekend in the at least 145 cities participating in protests, demonstrations and riots. 

Donald Trump, joined by Attorney General Bill Barr (pictured left), told governors during a teleconference in the Situation Room on Monday that they are ‘weak’ on rioters and need to ‘dominate’ by arresting and trying more people

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

President Trump held talks with his Barr, law enforcement officials and state leaders as violence continues to escalate in the sixth day of protests in cities all over the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Barr visited the White House for an Oval Office meeting with the president Monday morning, and shortly after, Trump hosted a video conference with governors, law enforcement leaders and national security officials in the Situation Room to discuss ways to keep American communities safe.

Cities across the nation appear war-torn after rioters set establishments and cars in the middle of streets on fire, smashed windows of local stores and looted their shelves and clashed with law enforcement. 

Trump had to flee to the White House bunker to shelter in place for a short period of time on Friday, it was revealed on Sunday, as protesters surrounding the White House. 

Many governors activated the National Guard in their states and sent them to cities being affected by protests turned to violence.  

Governors and mayors also went public, both on their own mediums and in interviews with networks, claiming that while they support rioters’ right to gather, they are pleading for an end to the violence and destruction in their cities as a means of protesting. 

The president did not appear publicly on Sunday to address the rioters, who have engulfed the perimeter of the White House as well taken to the streets in several other U.S. cities, he did weigh in on Twitter, claiming that governors need to activate the National Guard in their states.

He lauded the improvements over the weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota by the National Guard’s presence – and while the demonstrations have appeared less violent since they started at the end of last week, police in the city said they discovered Sunday caches of homemade firebombs around the city. 

The president has told aides that he’s concerned about his safety as the White House went dark after it turned off its lights in a rare move Sunday night while protests and riots continued a few hundred yards away from the residence. 

The rioters also set a fire to American Flags in Lafayette Square, the park adjacent to the North Lawn of the White House – and they were hit by tear gas by law enforcement. 

More than 50 Secret Service agents were injured in clashes with protesters in the nation’s capital, and more than 4,100 people were arrested across the country over the weekend as everything from peaceful protests to riots emerged in at least 145 cities.

D.C. was also among the 40 cities that imposed a curfew as riots escalated after sundown.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Monday that some of the protesters that terrorized the city overnight had come prepared with tools and supplies, and claimed that they set fires to draw police away from where they were planning to riot, loot and cause destruction.

‘We recognize that people are frustrated and mad but tearing up our beautiful city is not the way to bring attention to what is a righteous cause,’ Bowser told NBC News’ Today.

Just after the 11:00 p.m. curfew passed, a fire broke out at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was spared from protests the day before. 

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

While Trump remained out of sight in the midst of the riots, his advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.

Instead, Trump has urged governors to activate the National Guard, demanding they ‘get tough, but has not sought control of the Army reservists himself to quell the nationwide riots.

The violence ensued after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while in a white police officer’s custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

A cellphone video of the incident went viral where Derek Chauvin, 44, can be seen holding his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest for more than eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe.

While Floyd was handcuffed, four cops, including Chauvin, were holding him down.

Chauvin was fired after the video emerged and taken into custody on Friday after the violent protesters demanded he be arrested – and he is being charged with third-degree murder.

The other three officers have not been arrested.

Trump has also blamed the media, Democrats and outside groups for exacerbating the riots – asserting on Sunday that he is classifying the far-left anti-fascists group Antifa as a terrorist organization.

Antifa has no official leaders, and it could appear their fingerprints are all over the riots as their demonstrations include violent tactics that they deem justifiable.

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers 'get tough' and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd's death

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers ‘get tough’ and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd’s death

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul 

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the state has not yet called in the National Guard – and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the state has not yet called in the National Guard – and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

 

‘Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night,’ Trump tweeted Sunday morning. ‘The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!’

Minnesota law enforcement say that they believe white supremacists have infiltrated the riots in Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to stoke violent demonstrators.

‘They’re agitators, ‘Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell told CNN on Sunday, adding that there have been reports of Antifa members attending demonstrations.

While Trump does feel an outside group is involved, he asserted Monday that he does not believe that there were white supremacist groups mixed in with those protesting the death of George Floyd.

He instead doubled-down on blaming Antifa for the violent skirmishes with police.

‘I don’t see any indication that there were any white supremest groups mixing in. This is an ANTIFA Organization,’ the president asserted.

‘It seems that the first time we saw it in a major way was Occupy Wall Street. It’s the same mindset,’ Trump said, tagging ‘Fox & Friends’ host Brian Kilmeade and crediting him for the comment.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

He also replied ‘TRUE!’ to the Kilmeade quote, and misspelled the word ‘supremacist.’

Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was asked Friday about reports that White Supremacists were involved and he answered, ‘My suspicions and what I’ve seen on this, yes.’

‘It gets worse than that,’ he added. ‘The cartels, who are wondering if there was a break in their drugs transmissions, are trying to take advantage of the chaos. That’s why this situation is on a federal level.’

While governors and mayors scramble to create more peace in their major cities, the president is blaming them not calling in the National Guard for aggravating the violent situations.

‘Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,’ Trump urged in a tweet. ‘These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW.’

‘The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe,’ he continued, referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. ‘Is this what America wants? NO!!!’

By Sunday evening, Trump followed up his calls for the National Guard with a tweet that simply read: ‘LAW & ORDER!’

So far, 15 states and Washington, D.C. have deployed the Guard.

Rioters continue to take to the streets, becoming especially active after sundown, in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and beyond. 

While there have been at least 4,100 arrests in cities across the country this weekend and countless protesters, rioters and law enforcement officials have been injured, there are at least five instances where people have been killed in the midst of the violence.

Gunfire rang out during the riots this weekend leading to deaths in Detroit, Michigan and Indianapolis, Indiana.

In Omaha, Nebraska, a 22-year-old black protester was killed in a struggle with a local business owner.

A man was shot dead by law enforcement officers in Louisville on Sunday on the fourth night of unrest in the city in a shooting believed to be linked to the protests.

Louisville’s protests, in particular, have also focused on the March 13 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door.

WHAT IS THE ANTI-FASCIST MOVEMENT (ANTIFA)

The anti-fascist protest movement known as antifa gained new prominence in the United States after the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in August 2017. 

In Charlottesville and at many subsequent events held by white supremacists or right-wing extremists, antifa activists have aggressively confronted what they believe to be authoritarian movements and groups. 

While most counter-protestors tend to be peaceful, there have been several instances where encounters between antifa and the far-right have turned violent.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

These violent counter-protesters are often part of ‘antifa’ (short for ‘antifascist’), a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements. Their ideology is rooted in the assumption that the Nazi party would never have been able to come to power in Germany if people had more aggressively fought them in the streets in the 1920s and 30s. 

Most antifa come from the anarchist movement or from the far left, though since the 2016 presidential election, some people with more mainstream political backgrounds have also joined their ranks.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red. The antifa movement began in the 1960s in Europe, and had reached the US by the end of the 1970s. Most people who show up to counter or oppose white supremacist public events are peaceful demonstrators, but when antifa show up, as they frequently do, they can increase the chances that an event may turn violent. 

Antifa have expanded their definition of fascist/fascism to include not just white supremacists and other extremists, but also many conservatives and supporters of President Trump. 

Because there is no unifying body for antifa, it is impossible to know how many ‘members’ are currently active. Different localities have antifa populations of different strengths, but antifa are also sometimes willing to travel hundreds of miles to oppose a white supremacist event.

Source: Anti-Defamation League 

Trump tells governors ‘most of you are weak’ on violent protesters and says: ‘You have to dominate’


Donald Trump told governors during a video conference from the Situation Room on Monday that they are ‘weak’ and need to ‘dominate’ cities ravaged by riots or they will look like ‘jerks.’

‘You have to dominate or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people,’ Trump said during the call, according to CNN. ‘If you don’t put it down it will get worse and worse.’

He added that the only reason the riots are ‘successful’ is because they are ‘weak.’

The Associated Press added that during the call Trump told governors: ‘Most of you are weak. You have to arrest people.’

The comments come as more than 4,100 people were arrested across the country over the weekend in the at least 145 cities participating in protests, demonstrations and riots.

President Trump held talks with his Attorney General, law enforcement officials and state leaders on Monday as violence continues to escalate in the sixth day of protests in cities all over the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Attorney General Bill Barr visited the White House for an Oval Office meeting with the president Monday morning, and shortly after, Trump hosted a video conference with governors, law enforcement leaders and national security officials in the Situation Room to discuss ways to keep American communities safe.

Cities across the nation appear war-torn after rioters set establishments and cars in the middle of streets on fire, smashed windows of local stores and looted their shelves and clashed with law enforcement. 

Trump had to flee to the White House bunker to shelter in place for a short period of time on Friday, it was revealed on Sunday, as protesters surrounding the White House. 

Many governors activated the National Guard in their states and sent them to cities being affected by protests turned to violence. 

Governors and mayors also went public, both on their own mediums and in interviews with networks, claiming that while they support rioters’ right to gather, they are pleading for an end to the violence and destruction in their cities as a means of protesting. 

Donald Trump will meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr (pictured left), and separately hosting a teleconference with governors, law enforcement and national security officials on Monday to discuss how to keep Americans safe in the wake of violent riots that have broken out in cities all over the country

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safety

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

Protesters set an American flag on fire at Lafayette Park in front of the White House as they rallied against police brutality on Sunday evening, and were hit with tear gas by law enforcement

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

Thousands of protesters were arrested across the country over the weekend as major cities are the most affected areas of rioting, looting and arson

The president did not appear publicly on Sunday to address the rioters, who have engulfed the perimeter of the White House as well taken to the streets in several other U.S. cities, he did weigh in on Twitter, claiming that governors need to activate the National Guard in their states.

He lauded the improvements over the weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota by the National Guard’s presence – and while the demonstrations have appeared less violent since they started at the end of last week, police in the city said they discovered Sunday caches of homemade firebombs around the city. 

The president has told aides that he’s concerned about his safety as the White House went dark after it turned off its lights in a rare move Sunday night while protests and riots continued a few hundred yards away from the residence. 

The rioters also set a fire to American Flags in Lafayette Square, the park adjacent to the North Lawn of the White House – and they were hit by tear gas by law enforcement. 

More than 50 Secret Service agents were injured in clashes with protesters in the nation’s capital, and more than 4,100 people were arrested across the country over the weekend as everything from peaceful protests to riots emerged in at least 145 cities.

D.C. was also among the 40 cities that imposed a curfew as riots escalated after sundown.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Monday that some of the protesters that terrorized the city overnight had come prepared with tools and supplies, and claimed that they set fires to draw police away from where they were planning to riot, loot and cause destruction.

‘We recognize that people are frustrated and mad but tearing up our beautiful city is not the way to bring attention to what is a righteous cause,’ Bowser told NBC News’ Today.

Just after the 11:00 p.m. curfew passed, a fire broke out at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was spared from protests the day before. 

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

The riots broke out after video emerged of, George Floyd (pictured), being killed after a white police officer held his knee on his neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Memorial Day

While Trump remained out of sight in the midst of the riots, his advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.

Instead, Trump has urged governors to activate the National Guard, demanding they ‘get tough, but has not sought control of the Army reservists himself to quell the nationwide riots.

The violence ensued after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed while in a white police officer’s custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

A cellphone video of the incident went viral where Derek Chauvin, 44, can be seen holding his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest for more than eight minutes as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe.

While Floyd was handcuffed, four cops, including Chauvin, were holding him down.

Chauvin was fired after the video emerged and taken into custody on Friday after the violent protesters demanded he be arrested – and he is being charged with third-degree murder.

The other three officers have not been arrested.

Trump has also blamed the media, Democrats and outside groups for exacerbating the riots – asserting on Sunday that he is classifying the far-left anti-fascists group Antifa as a terrorist organization.

Antifa has no official leaders, and it could appear their fingerprints are all over the riots as their demonstrations include violent tactics that they deem justifiable.

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers 'get tough' and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd's death

Donald Trump demanded that state and local lawmakers ‘get tough’ and call in the National Guard to their cities to help mitigate escalating riots in the midst of George Floyd’s death

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Trump said Democratic-run areas should look to Minneapolis as an example of how the National Guard can help with rioters. He also blamed much of the continued riots, including looting and arson, on governors and mayors not activating the National Guard to help mitigate violence in their cities

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul

Minnesota did activate the Guard in their state, deploying them to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul 

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the state has not yet called in the National Guard – and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

Trump specifically mentioned the rioting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the state has not yet called in the National Guard – and lauded the job done by the Guard in Minneapolis

 

‘Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night,’ Trump tweeted Sunday morning. ‘The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!’

Minnesota law enforcement say that they believe white supremacists have infiltrated the riots in Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to stoke violent demonstrators.

‘They’re agitators, ‘Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell told CNN on Sunday, adding that there have been reports of Antifa members attending demonstrations.

While Trump does feel an outside group is involved, he asserted Monday that he does not believe that there were white supremacist groups mixed in with those protesting the death of George Floyd.

He instead doubled-down on blaming Antifa for the violent skirmishes with police.

‘I don’t see any indication that there were any white supremest groups mixing in. This is an ANTIFA Organization,’ the president asserted.

‘It seems that the first time we saw it in a major way was Occupy Wall Street. It’s the same mindset,’ Trump said, tagging ‘Fox & Friends’ host Brian Kilmeade and crediting him for the comment.

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, which has sparked violent protests

He also replied ‘TRUE!’ to the Kilmeade quote, and misspelled the word ‘supremacist.’

Democratic Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was asked Friday about reports that White Supremacists were involved and he answered, ‘My suspicions and what I’ve seen on this, yes.’

‘It gets worse than that,’ he added. ‘The cartels, who are wondering if there was a break in their drugs transmissions, are trying to take advantage of the chaos. That’s why this situation is on a federal level.’

While governors and mayors scramble to create more peace in their major cities, the president is blaming them not calling in the National Guard for aggravating the violent situations.

‘Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,’ Trump urged in a tweet. ‘These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW.’

‘The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe,’ he continued, referring to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. ‘Is this what America wants? NO!!!’

By Sunday evening, Trump followed up his calls for the National Guard with a tweet that simply read: ‘LAW & ORDER!’

So far, 15 states and Washington, D.C. have deployed the Guard.

Rioters continue to take to the streets, becoming especially active after sundown, in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and beyond. 

While there have been at least 4,100 arrests in cities across the country this weekend and countless protesters, rioters and law enforcement officials have been injured, there are at least five instances where people have been killed in the midst of the violence.

Gunfire rang out during the riots this weekend leading to deaths in Detroit, Michigan and Indianapolis, Indiana.

In Omaha, Nebraska, a 22-year-old black protester was killed in a struggle with a local business owner.

A man was shot dead by law enforcement officers in Louisville on Sunday on the fourth night of unrest in the city in a shooting believed to be linked to the protests.

Louisville’s protests, in particular, have also focused on the March 13 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door.

WHAT IS THE ANTI-FASCIST MOVEMENT (ANTIFA)

The anti-fascist protest movement known as antifa gained new prominence in the United States after the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in August 2017. 

In Charlottesville and at many subsequent events held by white supremacists or right-wing extremists, antifa activists have aggressively confronted what they believe to be authoritarian movements and groups. 

While most counter-protestors tend to be peaceful, there have been several instances where encounters between antifa and the far-right have turned violent.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red

These violent counter-protesters are often part of ‘antifa’ (short for ‘antifascist’), a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements. Their ideology is rooted in the assumption that the Nazi party would never have been able to come to power in Germany if people had more aggressively fought them in the streets in the 1920s and 30s. 

Most antifa come from the anarchist movement or from the far left, though since the 2016 presidential election, some people with more mainstream political backgrounds have also joined their ranks.

The antifa sometimes use a logo with a double flag, usually in black and red. The antifa movement began in the 1960s in Europe, and had reached the US by the end of the 1970s. Most people who show up to counter or oppose white supremacist public events are peaceful demonstrators, but when antifa show up, as they frequently do, they can increase the chances that an event may turn violent. 

Antifa have expanded their definition of fascist/fascism to include not just white supremacists and other extremists, but also many conservatives and supporters of President Trump. 

Because there is no unifying body for antifa, it is impossible to know how many ‘members’ are currently active. Different localities have antifa populations of different strengths, but antifa are also sometimes willing to travel hundreds of miles to oppose a white supremacist event.

Source: Anti-Defamation League