George Floyd Protests

Trump threatens to use military if governors can’t contain violent protests

The United States president Donald Trump held a conference call on Monday morning with more than 30 governors, calling some of them ‘weak’ for not handling the protests.

Trump threatens to use military if governors can’t contain violent protests
TOM BRENNER REUTERS

President Donald Trump was briefly moved to the White House bunker over the weekend as protests were being held near the White House over George Floyd’s death. After three days, though, Trump came out to address the nation amid the violent protests and looting that have been taking place in more than 30 states.

During his speech Donald Trump declared himself the “president of law and order” and as he did, peaceful protestors outside were forcibly dispersed with tear gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets by the Secret Service and police officers. Why? All so that Trump could walk across to visit a nearby church to pay his respect to what he called "a very, very special place".

Trump held up a bible outside the church and uncomfortably posed for pictures, then returned to the White House. He did not go into the church or express any religious sentiments there only telling reporters that America was soon going to be greater than ever.

Trump’s threat to US Governors

Earlier in the day, while in the White House bunker, President Donald Trump held a conference call with the more than 30 governors experiencing looting and violent protests over Floyd’s death this past weekend and called them “weak”.

"You have to dominate. If you don't dominate, you're wasting your time, they're gonna run over you, you're gonna look like a bunch of jerks,” were Trump's according to an audio of the call obtained by NBC News.

Trump could invoke the 'Insurrection Act'

Donald Trump also said he would deploy the United States military to stop the riots across the country that have been sparked by the death of George Floyd, “I am mobilising all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans,” Trump said.

While the President was addressing the nation you could hear the sound of helicopters above and as police fired smoke devices outside to push protesters back from the White House, "we are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now," Trump said.

"We are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now. Thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers" Trump said that they will arrive in Washington to stop the violence that has been a feature of the protests here.

The military police forces would come from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and possibly Fort Belvoir in Virginia and could arrive in Washington within hours. Trump’s decision on whether to invoke the act, adopted in 1807, to deploy troops has come as his frustrations mount over the protests that have followed the death of Floyd.

Donald Trump is leaning towards invoking the act because he was angry on Sunday night at the destruction some protestors caused in Washington, particularly the vandalisation of national monuments. The insurrection act was last invoked during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.