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Barr: 'Everyone agreed use of regular troops is a last resort'

Barr: 'Everyone agreed use of regular troops is a last resort'
© Screenshot/Cspan

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMerrick Garland on list to be Biden's attorney general: report DOJ dropping charges against ex-Mexican defense minister DOJ watchdog finds Louisiana inmates with coronavirus were not isolated for a week MORE said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that “everyone” in the Trump administration agreed that active-duty military personnel should only be deployed in response to demonstrations over the death of George Floyd “as a last resort.”

Barr called a CBS report that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE had demanded on Monday morning for 10,000 active-duty troops to be deployed to American cities “completely false.”

“The decision was made to have at the ready or on hand in the vicinity in the vicinity some regular troops,” he added, but “everyone agreed use of regular troops is a last resort.”

"I think our position was common, which was that they should only be deployed as a last resort. And that we didn't think we would need them. I think everyone was on the same page,” Barr said, referring to himself, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump administration pulls out of Open Skies treaty with Russia The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans President is wild card as shutdown fears grow MORE and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley

Host Margaret Brennan said following the segment that CBS stands by its reporting.

Barr also defended the forcible clearing of Lafayette Square Monday, denying that the crowd had been peaceful protesters and saying they had thrown “projectiles” at police, contradicting reporting from the scene of the protest, including that of The Hill.

The attorney general also denied tear gas or any other chemical irritant was used, saying “pepper spray is not a chemical irritant.” Park Police issued a similar denial last week before later walking it back.

Asked if he would have done anything differently in hindsight, Barr responded: “I haven't studied the events retrospectively in detail, but I think in general, you had the qualified law enforcement officials with shields warning and moving a line slowly. They had mounted officers moving slowly, directing people to move. And most people complied.”

After initial reporting that Barr had personally ordered the clearing of the park, the attorney general said Saturday that he “didn’t just say to them, 'Go.’”

“I’m not involved in giving tactical commands like that,” he added at the time.