Donald Trump appeared in the Rose Garden tonight to declare that he intends to crush those protesting the murder of George Floyd using military force, effectively declaring war on the country which he allegedly leads.
“I am mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans.
“Today I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming presence until the violence is quelled,” Trump said.
“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.”
At the conclusion of his speech, in which he called himself an “ally of peaceful protesters,” Trump announced he’d be heading to pay his respects to “a special place.” As he moved to St. John’s Church for a photo op, Secret Service and military police dispersed the hundreds of peaceful demonstrators who had gathered there using tear gas, according to some reports.
Update, 7:42 p.m.: CNN confirms that the protesters in the park were being violently dispersed:
But as he was speaking, peaceful protesters were being urgently dispersed outside the White House gates by police using rubber bullets, tear gas and flash bangs. Several protesters were seen pouring water into their eyes to ease the gas’s sting.
Update, 8:23 p.m.: Sources are saying that Trump’s photo op was motivated by coverage that he spent the weekend hiding from protesters in a bunker, and told aides on Monday that he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates.
Update, 8:41 p.m.: Reporters have some questions for Trump as he returns to the White House, including: “Mr. President, is this still a democracy?”
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.