Esper Breaks With President, Opposes Using Military for Protests
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper is breaking with President Donald Trump, saying he opposes using active-duty military forces for law enforcement duties in the U.S.
Trump has raised that possibility, though the White House has cooled on the idea as protests have calmed in the past two days.
Esper says active-duty troops in a law enforcement role should be used in the United States “only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” adding, “We are not in one of those situations now.”
He spoke as Trump took credit for a massive deployment of National Guard troops and federal law enforcement officers to the nation’s capital, saying it offered a model to states on how to quell protests nationwide.