Donald Trump has told the nation time and again that he is going to be a President of “law and order”, and he has taken several opportunities this week to forcibly re-express that sentiment.
Trump’s stern turn comes as protesters in the nation’s capital once again turned rowdy early in the week, attempting to topple a statue of former President Andrew Jackson, and establish the “Black House Autonomous Zone” or “BHAZ” – both just blocks away from the White House.
The Commander in Chief responded to these actions by announcing an executive order that would allow authorities to sentence would be vandals of historical monuments to up to 10 years in prison, and insisting that this be the new normal when it comes to this sort of vigilantism.
Now, in an attempt to deter any of these protesters from tempting fate, the President has also deployed National Guard troops to protect these sites.
“The District of Columbia National Guard is responding to a request to support law enforcement officials and has dispatched unarmed personnel, with others on stand-by, National Guard spokesman Major Robert Perino said in a statement to CNN. “Activated Guardsmen are expected to provide security for local monuments and critical infrastructure.”
A defense official says Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy signed the memo Tuesday authorizing the activation of the DC National Guard forces, after the National Park Police made a request for the assistance.
The official strongly emphasized that no Guard forces have yet been sent onto the streets and so far have all stayed inside their barracks. There are currently about 100 troops in the immediate Washington, DC, area. The activation could grow to 400 in total to rotate troops if needed. The Pentagon expects the guard forces to be used as a stopgap measure until the Justice Department can muster additional federal law enforcement personnel to take over the mission, the defense official said. Nonetheless it is expected the guard units will remain in the DC area through July 4th.
Trump is the “law and order President” indeed.
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