O’Brien: Trump won’t assume control of National Guard amid protests over George Floyd death

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White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday that the Trump administration will not assume control of the National Guard amid protests erupting over the death of George Floyd. 

“We’re not going to federalize the Guard at this time,” O’Brien told reporters at the White House, according to Reuters.

“But, if necessary, we have further military assets that can be deployed … if the governors and the mayors need it and they can’t get control of the situation,” he added. 

He said the administration will do “whatever the governors or mayors need to keep control of their cities.” 

Protests, some of them violent, have emerged in cities across the country in response to Floyd’s death. 

A widely shared video of Floyd’s arrest last week showed Floyd saying he could not breathe as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. Floyd died shortly afterward. Four officers were fired and the officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was also charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

President Trump commended the use of the National Guard in Minneapolis in response to protests in the city where Floyd died. 

As part of a series of tweets lauding the National Guard, Trump said the Guard “did a great job” and “should be used in other States before it is too late!”

The National guard reportedly confronted people who ignored Minneapolis’s 8 p.m. curfew on Saturday with tear gas, pepper spray and drawn weapons. The Guard grew its force to more than 4,100 either on patrol or preparing to deploy, and the force is expected to reach past 10,000 and continue on Sunday, the StarTribune reported. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) said Sunday the city will have a limited National Guard presence after a curfew was imposed over protests in response to Floyd’s death.

Tags curfew Donald Trump George Floyd Robert O'Brien United States Army United States National Guard
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