The White House says that President Donald Trump’s decision to push for a surge in National Guard troops in American cities last week has paid off.
“The streets of America didn’t spontaneously become peaceful last week,” Alyssa Farah, the White House’s top communications official, told Breitbart News on Monday. “It was a direct result of President Trump calling on Governors and Mayors to surge the National Guard in their states and restore law and order on America’s streets so that peaceful protestors could demonstrate safely.”
“Juxtapose Washington, D.C. two weekends ago, when there was widespread vandalism, property damage, and arson, with this past weekend – it was night and day,” she stated. “That is precisely because President Trump took decisive action to secure the streets of our Nation’s Capital and restore law and order.”
Before Trump overrode the mayor of Washington, DC, to bring active-duty troops and National Guard from other states into the nation’s capital last week, American cities were burning across the country. Widespread looting, property damage, arson, violence, and attacks on police officers and citizens dominated television broadcasts last weekend—a picture that was totally different than peaceful gatherings this weekend.
According to the Justice Department, from May 26 until the present, more than 700 law enforcement officers—local, state, and federal—have been injured on the job dealing with these protests, riots, and civil unrest. From May 29 until June 5, more than 150 federal government buildings were damaged nationwide according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Protective Services. Two weekends ago, 60 U.S. Secret Service officers were injured, as were 40 National Parks Service officers.
Trump has made “law and order” a major theme of his presidency in response to the unrest nationwide, and it appears to be paying off. This weekend, he withdrew out-of-state National Guard troops from Washington and pulled back active-duty military officials he deployed even earlier. While Washington, DC, is the only place Trump directly took control—he restored order within a day in the nation’s capital—other jurisdictions that took the president’s recommendations like Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Atlanta, Georgia, quickly returned to normal.
New York, where New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio resisted the president and Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the president’s push for National Guard and potentially active duty military deployment in places where local Democrats failed to restore order quickly, saw sustained rioting, looting, and violence last longer—but even there it seems to have calmed at least for now.
New York’s situation was particularly politically problematic for Democrats, as Cuomo last week was attacking de Blasio for holding back the New York Police Department (NYPD), which showed the country a clear contrast between Trump’s vision and the leftist Democrats’ vision. Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), a Staten Island Democrat whose district is critical for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remaining in power, broke with his party’s state leaders and called for the National Guard in New York.
After Trump restored order in the capital—a normalcy that spread to other places nationwide—the Democrat mayor of Washington, DC, quickly reasserted herself and began politically attacking the president, which has escalated into a war of words and tweets back and forth between the two. But after the mayor sanctioned the painting of “Black Lives Matter” with official street paint on the road to the White House, this weekend smaller-than-expected crowds added “Defund the Police” in the same yellow street paint. Bowser, in Sunday show appearances, had difficulty defending herself on this front.
“I actually haven’t even had an opportunity to review it, Martha, but we—the response that we’ve gotten from people about the Black Lives Matter—Black Lives Matter mural has just been incredible,” Bowser told ABC’s Martha Raddatz of the “Defund the Police” paint job on Washington streets, for instance, summarily dismissing the issue.
How this plays out politically ahead of and leading into November’s elections—the White House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and several governors’ offices and statehouses nationwide are all in play—remains to be seen. But Monday, presumptive Democrat presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign issued a statement distancing himself from the radical “Defund the Police” element of the left’s rising message.
"Biden does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain. Biden supports the urgent need for reform…" pic.twitter.com/k0IConBSj3
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 8, 2020
On the other side, President Trump and his team have seized on the chaos on the left to highlight how the incumbent president has represented normalcy, law and order, and, combined with last week’s encouraging economic statistics, a return to economic success.
Trump campaign spokesperson @TimMurtaugh calls Joe Biden "complicit" in "defund police" movement:
"Defunding the police is exactly what this movement means," Murtaugh says. "Joe Biden is complicit in this. He does not have the strength to stand up against extremists."
— Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) June 8, 2020
This year has seen the lowest crime numbers in our Country’s recorded history, and now the Radical Left Democrats want to Defund and Abandon our Police. Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2020
LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2020
All this comes while Democrats as a party lean into the unrest with a broad push from the party’s leadership for police reform legislation.