Update (1845ET):To sum up the headlines below, McEnany said President Trump plans to use “additional federal assets”, deployed across the country, to respond to the unrest in recent nights in retaliation for the killing of George Floyd. In addition, a “central command center” that will include Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General William Barr, is being set up to monitor the response nationwide and assist states with the worst problems.
“What the president has said is he wants to dominate the streets with National Guard, with a police presence,” McEnany told reporters.
Per leaked comments from Trump’s call with governors earlier, the president said he planned to put Gen. Milley in charge of a centrally-planned response (one Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington described Trump’s response as “unhinged”).
Asked to clarify what Trump meant, McEnany said the four-star general has “been on point in talking about the National Guard, the effectiveness and in ensuring that they’re utilized to great effect across the country,”suggesting that Milley would be a liaison to the press and the nation.
“What studies have shown, as Gen. Milley noted — he was in the governor’s call, his points all pertained to the National Guard — and he noted that there are several studies that when there’s an overwhelming National Guard presence it actually deescalates the situation and causes less civil unrest,” McEnany said.
Meanwhile, per the Hill, Esper reportedly said on the call that the sooner that officials “mass and dominate the battlespace the sooner this dissipates and we can get back to the right normal.”
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Update (1425ET): The press conference has begun (20 mins late, as per usual) and the headlines (and tweets) are rolling in:
- GOVERNORS MUST ACT, DEPLOY NATIONAL GUARD AS FITS, MCENANY SAYS
- TRUMP IS DEMANDING ACTION TO PROTECT CITIZENS, MCENANY SAYS
- WHITE HOUSE SAYS THERE WILL BE ADDITIONAL ‘FEDERAL ASSETS’ DEPLOYED ACROSS NATION IN RESPONSE TO VIOLENT PROTESTS
- ‘WE’RE LOOKING AT EVERY TOOL IN THE FEDERAL TOOLKIT’
- WHITE HOUSE SAYS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS ‘AMPLE EVIDENCE’ THAT ANTIFA BEHIND VIOLENCE AT PROTESTS
- TRUMP CALL WITH GOVERNORS FOCUSED ON STRONGER UTILIZATION OF NATIONAL GUARD
- WHITE HOUSE SAYS TRUMP WAS ENCOURAGING GOVERNORS TO CALL UP MORE NATIONAL GUARD
- MCENANY ‘WON’T PUT A NUMBER’ ON NECESSARY NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS
- “THIS PRESIDENT HAS BEEN LEADING” – TRUMP NOT “HIDING OUT” ON THIS ISSUE
- PRESIDENT TAKEN “WILDLY OUT OF CONTEXT” ON ‘WHEN LOOTING STARTS, THE SHOOTING STARTS’
Asked what the president is doing about the death of George Floyd, @PressSec replies there’s a federal civil rights investigation” but can’t allow antifa to carry out violence in its wake.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) June 1, 2020
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Following reports that President Trump slammed the nation’s governors and mayors as “weak” before threatening to send in the National Guard to NYC during a video briefing from the situation room, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany will hold the administration’s first briefing since the weekend of unrest across the country.
Trump’s tweets purportedly calling for police to embrace more violent tactics have aggravated his critics, while many of his supporters largely stood by him as officials who started the weekend blaming white supremacists and “foreign influence” for the devastation in their cities eventually pleaded with “anarchists” and “violent hooligans” commingling with “peaceful demonstrators” for most of the violence.
JUST IN: President Trump unloads on the nation’s governors on a call, calls on them to step up enforcement: “You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate.”
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) June 1, 2020
Since taking over the WH press shop, McEnany has held several press conferences characterized by her combative stance toward the press.
We’re sure today’s will prove no exception: