President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE on Tuesday hailed the "domination" of protesters in Washington, D.C., where military helicopters and tear gas were used Monday evening to disperse demonstrators, including those gathered peacefully outside the White House.
"D.C. had no problems last night. Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!)," Trump tweeted.
D.C. had no problems last night. Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!).— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2020
The president on Monday said he was dispatching thousands of military personnel and soldiers throughout the nation's capital to squelch protests in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
Previous nights had devolved into looting and vandalism in the nation's capital as police clashed with protesters.
Roughly 20 minutes before a 7 p.m. curfew went into effect on Monday, military police moved aggressively to break up a peaceful gathering at Lafayette Square near the White House.
Officers launched tear gas into the crowd, sending hundreds of people scattering. The unprompted action allowed Trump to walk to St. John's Church for a photo op with administration officials after the building had been burned a night earlier.
After the curfew, officers arrested scores of demonstrators who continued to gather and march downtown, and military helicopters were used to try to disperse individuals by hovering above them to produce intense gusts and noise.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was spotted roaming the streets of Washington in his military uniform. Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China Barr-Durham investigation again fails to produce a main event MORE was seen monitoring the situation in plain clothes.
The chaotic scene apparently pleased Trump, who spent the weekend decrying Democrats for failing to squelch the demonstrations in cities across the nation. On Monday, he called for governors to "dominate" the streets by deploying the National Guard to quell protests. He pledged to send in the U.S. military if unruly demonstrations continued, declaring himself the "president of law and order."
The use of force against protesters in Lafayette Square drew widespread condemnation.
"Tear-gassing peaceful protestors without provocation just so that the President could pose for photos outside a church dishonors every value that faith teaches us," Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor Panic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.