Acting as presidential as ever, GOP primary front-runner and former President Donald Trump announced he would not allow a repeat of destructive, violent protests to sweep across America.
Citing the recent wave of pro-Palestinian protests and how he was “kept from utilizing the U.S. military to clamp down on the destructive BLM riots of summer 2020 by forces inside his own government,” Trump vowed, never again.
Trending Politics reported that when Trump addressed an audience in Iowa several months ago, he promised, “The next time [riots arise] I’m not waiting” and that he would “defend Americans.”
Ever critical of Biden-administration endorsed soft-on-crime policies, Trump described Democrat-led cities such as New York City and Chicago as “crime dens,” according to The Associated Press.
“You look at these great cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco — you look at what’s happening to our country,” Trump said. “We cannot let it happen any longer. And one of the other things I’ll do … because you know you’re supposed to not be involved in that you just have to be asked by the governor or the mayor to come in…”
Trump added: “We’ve got to get crime out of our cities.”
The former president did not specify how he would move to quell violent protests should they erupt when he was serving as president. The Associated Press, however, speculated that Trump would call on the military to achieve his objective.
“Trump has not spelled out precisely how he might use the military during a second term, although he and his advisers have suggested they would have wide latitude to call up units,” they wrote.
Adding fuel to a charged post, The Associated Press characterized Trump as “aggressive,” citing his initiatives to stem illegal immigration and his “willingness to [implement] discretionary travel bans” from nations known to be hostile to American values to support their premise.
The Associated Press referenced Joseph Nunn, a national security expert with the Brennan Center for Justice who suggested a President Trump could be endowed with special discretional powers due to the Insurrection Act of 1795.
Nunn stated: “The principal constraint on the president’s use of the Insurrection Act is basically political, that presidents don’t want to be the guy who sent tanks rolling down Main Street.”
But noting there are limited legal provisions to stop an “aggressive” Trump from implementing a kind of Marshall Law, Nunn warned, “There’s not much really in the law to stay the president’s hand.”
Nunn has called for new legislation to restrain a president from invoking the Insurrection Act, which has been enacted for the safety of American citizens 40 times since 1795 — most often to enforce civil rights and desegregation efforts.
However, Michael O’Hanlon, director of research in foreign policy at the Brookings Institute, disagrees and told The Associated Press: “There are a lot of institutional checks and balances in our country that are pretty well-developed legally, and it’ll make it hard for a president to just do something randomly out of the blue.”
Notably, President George H.W. Bush used the Insurrection Act in 1992 to deploy the California National Guard to Los Angeles to contain the violent Rodney King riots.
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