President Donald Trump on Thursday, June 11, reiterated his threat to deal with “anarchists” in Seattle if local leaders don’t act.
“If there were more toughness, you wouldn’t have the kind of devastation that you had in Minneapolis and in Seattle. I mean, let’s see what’s going on in Seattle. But I will tell you if they don’t straighten that situation out, we’re going to straighten it out,” the president said during a portion of an interview with the Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner.
President Trump on Wednesday seemed to be infuriated at what is happening in Seattle, where radical protesters took over six blocks of the city to create “The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” after Seattle police left a boarded East Precinct building behind, urging “radical left” Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) and Gov. Jay Inslee (D) to act quickly.
Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
“What I mean is very simple, we’re not going to let Seattle be occupied by anarchists. … If we have to go in, we’re going to go in,” the president continued. “The governor’s either going to do it, let the governor do it, he’s got great National Guard troops, he’ll—he can do it. But one way or the other, it’s going to get done. These people are not going to occupy a major portion of a great city.”
Also on Thursday, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and Durkan denied responsibility for making the call for police to leave the East Precinct on Monday evening. Both said they will not resign despite calls from protesters.
Law professor John Yoo argued that President Trump has constitutional power to send U.S. troops into American cities to restore order.
“The Constitution and congressional acts give Trump the legal power to call up National Guard units or even active-duty forces to stop disturbances that prevent the enforcement of the law,” Yoo wrote in an op-ad for Fox News. “While Trump has wisely refrained from any wide-scale deployment of troops, the failure of state or local governments to maintain order may demand federal intervention.”
Yoo said that law and order under most circumstances falls under the jurisdiction of state and local governments under the 10th Amendment, but President Trump has legal power when “violence rises beyond the resources of state and local authorities” to protect public health and safety.