The mainstream media is in an uproar over Trump’s appearance at St. John’s Church in Washington D.C. on Monday, and it appears that Defense Secretary Mark Esper has bent the knee to the liberal outrage over Trump’s “photo op” at the vandalized church.
Esper told Pentagon reporters on Wednesday that “I was not aware a photo op was happening, I do everything I can to stay apolitical,” though he did admit that he was fully aware that he would be visiting the church and National Guard troops with Trump.
As Trump attempts to gain control of the widespread riots in the nation, Esper has made headlines for openly opposing Trump’s riot response in recent days.
Esper also raised eyebrows by proclaiming that he does “not support invoking the Insurrection act” to control the riots. Invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 would allow the Federal Government to direct the military to suppress the domestic unrest.
“I say this not only as secretary of defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard,” Esper said. “The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.
“We are not in one of those situations now,” he concluded. “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”
Trump himself has not indicated a desire to invoke the Insurrection Act at this point, but White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed on Monday that the president could choose to invoke it if riots continue to escalate.
“It’s one of the tools available, whether the president decides to do that, that is his prerogative,” McEnany said, adding that “right now we’re looking on a focus on the National Guard, that’s where it currently stands.”
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