Pence threatens to deploy military if Pennsylvania governor doesn't quell looting

Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence says decision on removing Confederate statues should be made locally The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records Trump says he'll wear mask during upcoming trip to Walter Reed MORE said the administration would send the military to Pennsylvania if Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is unable to quell looting that has ravaged businesses across the state. 

“We stand ready, as previous administrations have done, to deploy active-duty military personnel to quell the violence, to quell the looting,” Pence told KDKA in an exclusive interview.

“To see these rioters that are engaging in looting, to actually see the violence against these law enforcement officers that took place last night in New York and in Missouri, is absolutely inexcusable,” he added, referencing other riots that have taken place across the country.

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The remarks are just the latest threat from the Trump administration to deploy active military members to quell looting as the country demonstrates against the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. 

“The president and I will continue to urge the governors, like Governor Wolf, to call up the National Guard, deploy them to the streets and in a strong and decisive manner to restore order. The American people expect nothing less,” said Pence.

The vice president added that he though Wolf should call up more of the National Guard, noting that the governor “had only called up 500 or 600 members. Wolf has said he has 120 National Guard members on standby in Pittsburgh.

The protests and riots were sparked after video went viral of a white police officer pinning Floyd down by his neck for several minutes while Floyd said he could not breath. While many of the protests begin peacefully, rioters have often emerged at nighttime and looted a number of businesses.

The situation was escalated on Monday when law enforcement fired pepper balls and smoke canisters into a crowd of peaceful protesters outside the White House to clear the way for Trump to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church, a target of arsonists the previous night.

Pence said the administration stood by peaceful marches against his death.

“We are saddened by the tragic death of George Floyd, as I believe every American was horrified to see that video. As the President said yesterday, we stand by the peaceful protesters in expressing their disdain for what took place on the streets of Minneapolis,” Pence said on Michigan’s Fox 2.