U.S. President Donald Trump told his advisors at one point last week he wanted 10,000 troops to deploy to the Washington D.C. area to halt civil unrest over the killing George Floyd, according to a senior U.S. official.
The account of Trump’s demand during a heated Oval Office conversation last Monday shows how close the president may have come to fulfilling his threat to deploy active duty troops in U.S. cities, despite opposition from Pentagon leadership.
At the meeting, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Attorney General William Barr recommended against such a deployment, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that the meeting was “contentious."
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Barr denied that Trump made such a demand and that no active duty troops were deployed on in D.C. - but that they were on standby in case they were needed.
According to the official, “Having active duty forces available but not in the city was enough for the president for the time.”
Those troops have since departed.