The Washington Post editorial board on Tuesday warned Donald Trumpâ€™s top aides that the presidentâ€™s threat to unleash the military on protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd could seriously backfire.
Instead, it may plunge the United States further into chaos and unrest, the newspaper wrote in an editorial headlined: â€œTrumpâ€™s threats to deploy troops move America closer to anarchy.â€
The board suggested Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, must â€œsurely knowâ€ that the deployment of military forces in American cities would be â€œcounterproductiveâ€ and unsustainable.
â€œYet they allowed themselves to be used as props in Mr. Trumpâ€™s march across Lafayette Square,â€ the editorial said, referencing how the men joined the president Monday posing outside a historic church after police had violently cleared peaceful protesters from the area using tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.
Esper has since claimed he â€œdidnâ€™t knowâ€ where he was going on leaving the White House with Trump.
The editorial also noted their participation â€œin a phone call Monday in which the president demanded that governors use the National Guard to suppress protests.â€
â€œIn enabling his incitement, Mr. Trumpâ€™s aides are helping him to push the country closer not to order but to anarchy,â€ the editorial cautioned.
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