Trump's vow to deploy military faces GOP pushback

President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE's warning that he could deploy the U.S. military if state and local officials aren't able to quell days of riots is facing skepticism and in some cases pushback from GOP senators.

Trump, speaking at the White House, said he would deploy the military — sparking a new wave of speculation that he could invoke the Insurrection Act, which would allow him to deploy active military troops to states and cities.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Senate panel deadlocks over Biden pick to lead DOJ civil rights division Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney MORE (R-Alaska) warned against further militarization in response to the protests.


"I don't think militarization is the answer to the anxiety and fear, the distrust ... that we feel right now. It is not the response," she said.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood causes headache for GOP in key S.C. race GOP governors move to cut unemployment benefits as debate rages over effects Trump critics push new direction for GOP MORE (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally, said the law should be invoked as a "last resort."

"I don’t think the Pentagon’s keen on getting brought into this unless they absolutely have to. We need to restore order, but using active-duty military troops in circumstances like this is a fairly rare occurrence — so as a last resort," he told reporters.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneLawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats GOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Republican senator, told reporters he would "prefer that these things be handled by the state and local authorities. ... You want to de-escalate rather than escalate."

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block Biden adds pressure to congressional talks with self-imposed deadlines Republicans can win back control in 2022 — if they don't 'cancel' themselves first MORE (R-S.C.) told reporters that talk of sending in the military was "premature," while Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Police reform talks hit familiar stumbling block CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger MORE (R-Texas), a member of GOP leadership, said that "ordinarily it's a local matter."


"Hopefully he won't do it, it won't be necessary," Cornyn said about Trump's remarks.

Asked if thought the president was floating the Insurrection Act, Cornyn added, "That would be one of the legal authorities he would depend on, but I think at this point that's hypothetical."

The Insurrection Act, passed in 1807, is a law that gives the president the power to deploy active military troops on U.S. soil. 

It was used in 1992 when the governor of California requested federal assistance in response to riots in Los Angeles but has not been used since then, according to Just Security.

But other GOP senators signaled that they would be more supportive of Trump taking further action if state and local officials are unable to prevent riots or looting.


Asked about Trump's "threat" to use the military, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBipartisanship has become a partisan weapon Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Seth Rogen says he's not in a feud with 'fascist' Ted Cruz, whose 'words caused people to die' MORE (R-Texas) said it was an "interesting editorializing to use the word threat."

"The president has a responsibility to defend the country. And I'm glad the president is committing to acting swiftly," he said.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSunday shows - Cheney removal, CDC guidance reverberate Ron Johnson calls cyber attacks an 'existential' threat following Colonial Pipeline shutdown All congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN MORE (R-Wis.) said the federal government's main response should be investigating individuals involved in riots but that Trump's response could give governors "a little spine." 

"Hopefully, you know, the president talking that way will put a little spine in some of these governors that aren't calling out the National Guard to the extent that they need to to restore order," he said.