WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — This week, President Trump said if state governors can’t get violent protests under control, he’d send in the military. But a growing number of lawmakers and defense officials say that’s not what the U.S. military is for.
Army veteran and Illinois democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth says it is wrong for President Trump to try to control protests with active duty U.S. military.
“It’s role is not to attack peaceful demonstrators exercising their first amendment rights,” Duckworth said.
Indiana democratic representative Andre Carson is also against the president’s idea.
“He’s putting their lives in jeopardy and it’s a blatant abuse of power,” Carson said.
The president told governors to stop violent protests or else he would intervene.
“I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem,” Trump said.
The U.S. military is normally prohibited from police action inside the country, but the president pointed to a law called the Insurrection Act of 1807.
“President George H.W. Bush used the Insurrection Act after the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles,” said Marc Lotter, Trump campaign communications director.
But even some republicans, including Indiana Senator Mike Braun think deploying the military in American cities is a bad idea.
“I’m going to be for local law enforcement, state law enforcement and the national guard,” Braun said. “I think that’ll be plenty.”
Democrats have introduced legislation that would put limits on the Insurrection Act, and Duckworth says Congress can also use the power of the purse.
“Just under two weeks we’re going to be voting on the budget for the United States military,” Duckworth said.
This week, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper also said he disagreed with using active military to control protests.