(The Center Square) – President Donald Trump on Monday said he will deploy the U.S. military to American cities and states if governors and local officials don’t do enough to stop the rioting and looting that has occurred in the wake of protests over the killing last week of George Floyd, a black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer.
“We are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We are ending it now,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden Monday evening.
Reiterating a message he gave to governors via teleconference earlier in the day, Trump said he wants states to deploy their National Guard units to provide mutual aid to local law enforcement and end the violence.
“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military to quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said.
The president said he was “sickened and revolted” by Floyd’s death in police custody, but called the violent protests “acts of domestic terror.”
Governors in many states, including California, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin, activated National Guard units over the weekend to help local and state police respond to the violent protests that occurred in dozens of U.S. cities.
“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for ten years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” Trump told governors. “We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.”
Specifically addressing violence in the nation’s capital, Trump called it a “total disgrace.” A curfew in Washington D.C. begins at 7 p.m. Monday and ends at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
“We are putting everyone on notice, our curfew will be strictly enforced,” Trump said.