Trump Feuds with D.C. Mayor
June 6, 2020 (EIRNS)—Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser asked President Donald Trump to withdraw all extra federal law enforcement from the city. In a June 4 letter she sent out on Twitter, Bowser wrote that the two previous nights of protests were peaceful, and that therefore she was ending the state of emergency related to the demonstrations. But she expressed concern about “unidentified federal personnel” still patrolling the streets, allegedly posing both safety and national security risks. “The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully demonstrating for change to the racists and broken systems that are killing Black Americans,” she wrote.
To which President Trump replied on Twitter the following day: “The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., @MayorBowser, whose budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for ‘handouts,’ is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment over the last number of nights. If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!”
referring to the Mayor’s throwing Guard personnel out of their hotels.
Nevertheless, according to The Hill, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has now ordered the active-duty troops who were deployed to military bases outside of the nation’s capital, to return to their home bases at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Drum, New York.
An unnamed Pentagon spokesman also told The Hill that, in any case, National Guardsmen still in the District have been directed not to use firearms or ammunition during protests. The directive came earlier this week, and is temporary, based on the fact that protests in Washington have been peaceful in recent days, he said. “The whole purpose behind that was a purposeful show of de-escalation,” one U.S. defense official told the Washington Post. “We’re here, but we’re walking things down.” According to the Post, the troops were armed on Monday, but they did not have magazines of ammunition in their firearms, and by Tuesday they were not carrying any firearms at all.