Members of the National Guard on Friday were looking for a new place to stay, after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered that they leave the hotel they were staying at, according to an official.
The city had taken over the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington, D.C. to use for the National Guard’s coronavirus response mission, but many rooms remained vacant, so National Guard members deploying to D.C. as part of the civil unrest mission began staying there.
Bowser did not like the idea that Guardsmen from out of state were staying at the hotel, so she ordered the more than 1,000 members to leave.
National Guard members who worked the night shift now are looking for a new place to stay instead of getting rest before their next shift, the official told Breitbart News.
The National Guard said in a statement:
Some National Guard responders were quartering in hotel accommodations which had preexisting contractual agreements with the District. Out of respect for existing agreements those facilities have with the city government, those service members have relocated. For further information, please contact city government.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) blasted Bowser’s order, which affected 200 National Guardsmen from Utah:
Just heard that Mayor Bowser is kicking the Utah National Guard out of all DC hotels tomorrow. More than 1200 troops from 10 states are being evicted. This is unacceptable. 1/2
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) June 5, 2020
These brave men and women have risked their lives protecting DC for three days. Rioting, looting, arson, and vandalism have all disappeared bc these soldiers served. And now they are being kicked to the curb by an ungrateful mayor. This must be stopped. 2/2 pic.twitter.com/YYyctKvUqN
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) June 5, 2020
Lee said in a statement:
Evicting Utah National Guard personnel from their hotels after a late-night shift risking their lives to protect Washington is a shameful, petty, discrediting decision by Mayor Bowser.
Our Utah guardsmen are consummate professionals who are not complaining in the slightest. But their labor and sacrifice on behalf of Washingtonians deserves better than this embarrassing spectacle. If Mayor Bowser has a problem with President Trump she should take it up with him, not take it out on National Guard personnel in the middle of a dangerous deployment in her city.
Lee confirmed that after 200 Utah National Guard specialists finished their all-night Thursday shift protecting D.C. at 3:00 a.m. on Friday, they were forced out of their hotel by 11:00 a.m. He said they have another shift Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
Bowser has asked President Trump to withdraw all “extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence” from D.C., but it is unlikely the president will grant that request. Since there is no governor in D.C., the president has authority over National Guard forces in the city.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020
The president fully activated the D.C. National Guard, as well as requested National Guardsmen from other states to assist in the civil unrest mission. He also ordered active duty troops to be in the area on standby if needed.
The orders came after rioters looted, defaced monuments, and burned a historic church near the White House on Sunday.
After Trump’s orders, violence in the city dropped dramatically and protests were largely peaceful.
The White House and Pentagon have faced backlash from the left for its role in the civil unrest mission, although military leaders have stressed that National Guardsmen are there to protect human life and property and safeguard peaceful protest.
The D.C. National Guard currently has about 1,200 National Guardsmen activated, and another 3,900 members from other states are or will be supporting, from Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
Governors in 33 states and D.C. have activated more than 41,500 National Guard members to assist state and local law enforcement in support of civil unrest operations, according to the National Guard.
The National Guard said its civil support missions are generally conducted to assist:
• Supporting civil authorities whose capabilities or capability is insufficient to meet current requirements.
• Protecting the life, property and safety of U.S. citizens.
• Protecting critical U.S. infrastructure.
• Providing humanitarian assistance during disaster response and domestic emergencies.
• Providing support to designated law enforcement activities and operations.
• Providing support to designated events, and other activities.