State Watch

DeSantis says he’s sending 500 National Guard troops to DC

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Wednesday that he’s sending 500 of his state’s National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., to aid in responding to protests.

The governor made the announcement at a Universal Orlando Resort, which is set to open Friday.

The extra 500 troops come after a relatively peaceful night of protests in Washington. In previous nights, law enforcement deployed pepper balls and rubber bullets while seeking to quell demonstrations in the city.

Members of the D.C. National Guard have been spotted in several parts of the city amid the protests and incidents of looting in recent days, with troops seen guarding monuments on the National Mall. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has clashed with President Trump over his approach to law enforcement. The president has called Bowser’s handling of the unrest too relaxed while she has said that his rhetoric incited some of the violence happening in the city.

On Wednesday, Bowser said that she was looking to challenge the president’s ability to call in the National Guard from other states without her approval. The mayor has previously called reported inquiries from federal officials about temporarily taking hold of the city police department an “affront to even our limited home rule.”

“We are examining every legal question about the president’s authority to send troops, even the National Guard, to the District of Columbia and if he has to make any other legal steps to do that,” Bowser said at a press conference.

In the District, military helicopters were used to disperse demonstrators in the city on Monday as protests raged in front of the White House. The D.C. National Guard has asked for an investigation into one aircraft using a “low-flying maneuver” to target protesters.

“We think that it was a potentially very dangerous scare tactic that was meant to intimidate D.C. residents and it was wholly inappropriate in an urban setting,” Bowser said of the military helicopters.

Tags Donald Trump Muriel Bowser National Guard Ron DeSantis Washington D.C.

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