Trump blasts DC Mayor Bowser as 'incompetent'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE on Friday sharply rebuked Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), calling her “incompetent” after she demanded he withdraw military personnel and federal law enforcement from the district amid ongoing protests against the police killing of George Floyd.

“The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., @MayorBowser, who’s budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for ‘handouts’, is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment over the last number of nights,” Trump said in a series of tweets Friday. 

“If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!” the president continued, without expanding on what that group would be.

 

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Trump has increasingly sparred with Bowser over the past week as a result of his handling of the protests. Bowser penned a letter to the president on Thursday asking that he “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence” from the city, noting protesters had been peaceful and that the D.C. police department did not make any arrests on Thursday night.

“Since Home Rule, we have developed a finely wrought system of coordination with federal partners, and we will continue to work with them to ensure the safety of demonstrations. We are well equipped to handle large demonstrations and First Amendment activities,” Bowser wrote in the letter to Trump. 

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The D.C. mayor also expressed concerns about unidentified law enforcement patrolling the streets in the city.

“The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and for reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans,” Bowser wrote.

Tensions between Trump and Bowser have flared in recent days as the president and his administration have sought to crack down on protests in the district by beefing up the presence of federal law enforcement. The administration has withstood scrutiny after law enforcement forcefully cleared peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square on Monday before Trump walked to a historic church nearby for a photo-op.

National Guardsmen have descended on the district, and Trump put active-duty troops on standby to potentially play a role in helping quell the protests, which grew violent and unruly over the weekend but have largely been peaceful since.

Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperDuckworth to block military confirmations until Esper proves Vindman will be promoted House panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal House panel votes to ban Confederate flag at Pentagon property MORE on Thursday sent home active-duty soldiers who had been on standby in the D.C. area.