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After vowing Monday to deploy military force to restore order in states that fail to “dominate” unlawful demonstrations, President Trump on Tuesday all but ordered New York City to request help from the National Guard.
“NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” Trump tweeted. “The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast! Don’t make the same horrible and deadly mistake you made with the Nursing Homes!!!”
Parts of New York City, including midtown Manhattan, were rocked by disorder Monday night, despite an 11 p.m. curfew. Mobs clashed with police and broke into the iconic Macy’s store on Herald Square and other nearby shops.
“Macy’s at 34th. Street, long the largest single department store anywhere in the world, & a point of pride in NYC, was devastated yesterday when hoodlums and thieves vandalized it, breaking almost all of its large panels of storefront glass,” the president fumed. “What a shame. Bring in National Guard!”
Trump mocked the 11 p.m. curfew as a weak response, tweeting: “New York City put on an 11:00 P.M. CURFEW last night. No wonder they ripped the place apart. Should be 7:00 P.M. CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD. #SAVENYC.”
The curfew was moved up to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and extended for the rest of the week.
“Yesterday was a bad day for the Cuomo Brothers,” Trump tweeted, referring to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo.
“New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others [sic] forms of Lowlife & Scum,” the president continued. “The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces. Likewise, Fredo’s ratings are down 50%!” Fredo is the president’s derogatory nickname for Chris Cuomo.
Underscoring his us-versus-them approach to the disorder, Trump also sent out a tweet that said simply, “SILENT MAJORITY!” — a slogan from the 1960s associated with opposition to civil rights and support for the Vietnam War.
Peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis continued for the seventh night, in New York and dozens of other cities, including Washington, D.C.
At a press briefing on Tuesday morning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked if he would consider asking the governor to activate the National Guard to supplement the NYPD’s response to the unrest.
“No,” de Blasio said. “We do not need nor do we think it’s wise for the National Guard to be in New York City nor any armed forces. And I’m going to tell you why — it’s very important we have this out right now. Someone needs a history lesson. When outside armed forces go into communities, no good comes of it.”
At his daily press briefing in Albany Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo was highly critical of de Blasio and the NYPD.
“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night,” he said. “It was a disgrace.”
The governor was equally critical of Trump for conflating what he called “legitimate protesters” and “looters.”
“There are those who want to intentionally blur the lines between peaceful, legitimate protesters and looters. The president is among them,” he tweeted. “They want you to watch the videos of the looting — not the video of Mr. Floyd being murdered. Don’t fall for it.”
In a hastily delivered statement from the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Trump vowed to send in military to put an end to the violent protests, as Washington law enforcement officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of peaceful protesters gathering a block away.
“I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,” Trump said. “But in recent days our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsons, looters, criminals, rioters, antifa and others.
“I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America. I am mobilizing all available federal resources — civilian and military — to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights,” Trump said.
The president said he would invoke the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use the military to suppress civil disorder or rebellion if requested by a governor. He did not mention any states that have requested such assistance.
The act does have a provision that allows the president to act unilaterally under certain conditions.
“We will end it now,” Trump said, adding that he has directed governors to deploy the National Guard “in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.”
In an earlier tweet Tuesday morning, the president declared success in Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis while thanking himself in the third person.
“D.C. had no problems last night,” Trump tweeted. “Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!).”
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