President Trump blasted Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) as “incompetent” on Twitter Friday after she demanded the president to remove the federal law enforcement and military presence from the nation’s Capital amid the ongoing unrest of protest following the death 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 tweeted. “If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!”
Trump’s reference to the troops treatment was addressing an incident that occurred Thursday night when 200 Utah National Guard member was told to relocate from a D.C. hotel they were staying. Utah Sen. Mike Lee broke the news late Thursday night on Twitter, saying the D.C Mayor “is kicking the Utah National Guard out of all DC hotels tomorrow. More than 1200 troops from 10 states are being evicted.”
Bowser claimed that it was a budget issue that led to the Utah Guardsmen being ejected from there hotel, noting that DC residents would not be paying their hotel bills any longer and that the armory or the home state of the National Guard should be paying for their housing.
In a letter dated Thursday to Trump, Bowser requested the “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence,” saying that she “ended the state of emergency” in the city related to the demonstrations.
“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 said. “Therefore, I am requesting that you withdraw all extraordinary law enforcement and military presence from Washington, DC. We are well equipped to handle large demonstrations and First Amendment activities.”
“When they pushed out onto a DC street, that is too far and that is what we push back on,” Bowser added. “The protestors have been peaceful, and last night, the Metropolitan Police Department did not make a single arrest.”
The D.C mayor also spoken out about concerns of the deployment of federal law enforcement “inflaming” the protest and adding
“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,” she said. “When citizens are unable to clearly identify legitimate law enforcement officers, it creates unnecessary risks for both protesters and officers.”
Shortly after Trump’s tweet, Bowser responded during a news conference saying “You know the thing about the pot and the kettle?”
Bowser activated the D.C. National Guard assistances after last weekend saw many clashes with protestors and police officers outside the White House. Several fires were set just blocks from the White House as well as the historic St. John’s Church being lit on fire and vandalism of historic places including the World War II memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the statue of General Casimir Pulaski. Over 50 U.S. Secret Service members and 20 D.C. police officers were injured during the two nights of violent clashes.
Washington, D.C, streets are under the jurisdiction of the D.C Metropolitan Police Department, however the area around the White House complex falls under federal jurisdiction. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper ordered roughly 1,600 active-duty troops to the capital region earlier this week.