Monday evening, Hillary Clinton tweeted:
Tonight the President of the United States used the American military to shoot peaceful protestors with rubber bullets & tear gas them.
For a photo op.
This is a horrifying use of presidential power against our own citizens, & has no place anywhere, let alone in America. Vote.
Earlier in the day Hillary tweeted 2 side by side images of the White House and wrote “Elections matter.”
Per TheHill, President Trump on Monday said he would mobilize “all available federal resources, civilian and military” to clamp down on protests across the country, declaring himself the “president of law and order” as police aggressively dispersed protesters gathered outside the White House.
Trump said he was dispatching the military across Washington, D.C., and urged governors nationwide to “dominate” their streets with National Guard deployments. If they refused, he said, he would send troops to American cities.
“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” he said. “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 U.S. military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
It was not immediately clear under what authority Trump could deploy U.S. troops to patrol states without governors requesting them. A senior Defense Department official said Trump had not enacted the Insurrection Act, which gives the president the power to deploy active military troops on U.S. soil. It was last used in 1992 to respond to riots following the acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King.
Trump also said he was 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” in the nation’s capital.
The comments offered a stunning split screen to the strife that has engulfed the nation following the death of George Floyd. While Trump spoke in the Rose Garden, hundreds of people were gathered just outside Lafayette Park across the street from the White House to protest for a fourth consecutive night.
Several loud bangs echoed just before Trump took the podium as law enforcement fired tear gas into a crowd of peaceful protesters. Moments earlier, Attorney General William Barr was spotted reviewing the law enforcement setup at the park.
A citywide curfew instituted by D.C.’s Democratic mayor was set to go into effect at 7 p.m., and National Guard troops had assembled in the nation’s capital to back up law enforcement. New York City and other metropolitan areas had imposed similar curfews in an attempt to contain the unruly protests.
Trump said the D.C. curfew would be “strictly enforced.”