As many as 400 National Guard troops are headed back to Washington D.C. as violent rioters and anarchists continue their threats against federal monuments in the Nation's Capitol. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt made the request.
"We will protect these monuments and we will do it with dispatch and severity," Bernhardt told Fox News' Laura Ingraham Tuesday night.
I’ve requested additional federal resources, including the National Guard, to be available to protect America’s monuments. We will protect these places with dispatch and severity! pic.twitter.com/N2xMzl2ZWt— Secretary David Bernhardt (@SecBernhardt) June 24, 2020
These 200+ year old cannons were from our country's earliest days and were damaged last night by violent agitators. Criminals will be prosecuted, and the cannons will be fully restored. pic.twitter.com/fR7tBAoJqK— Secretary David Bernhardt (@SecBernhardt) June 23, 2020
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order sometime this week bolstering the ability to protect national monuments while prosecuting those engaged in vandalism against them.
"We have a very specific monuments act. And we are looking at long-term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and these anarchists and agitators, and call them whatever you want. Some people don’t like that language, but that’s what they are. They’re bad people. They don’t love our country, and they’re not taking down our monuments. I just want to make that clear," Trump said. "I will have an executive order very shortly. And all it’s really going to do is reinforce what’s already there, but in a more uniform way."
"If these hoodlums come around, and if the states can’t handle it, we are ready, willing, and able to help as we did in Minnesota, where we stopped, after four days, they finally called, and we did a great job with the National Guard," he continued.
National Guard troops were used at the beginning of June to protect the Lincoln and WWII memorials after they were vandalized. When unrest dissipated, they were sent home. Now that serious unrest is plaguing the streets of Washington D.C., with attempts to tear down federal statues, National Guard troops are being sent back.