Trump threatened military action to quell protests. Can he do that?

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By The Washington Post. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Protests across the United States have intensified since last week over the death of George Floyd, a black man whose final gasps of“I can’t breathe” while in police custody, were caught on video in Minneapolis.

Many protests have been peaceful, but in several cities, tensions have escalated and violence has erupted.

With unrest growing, President Trump decided to address the nation from the White House’s Rose Garden on Monday in a televised speech.

Moments before he spoke, though, police started to forcibly push out a crowd of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square, just outside the White House. Police fired flash-bang shells, gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.

Nearby, in his speech, Trump said,“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

The president of the United States threatened to deploy active-duty military personnel to states to help quell violent protests across the country — against the will of state leaders.

So, can he do that? Does the president have the power to deploy the military inside the U.S.?

On this episode of the“Can He Do That?” podcast, national security reporter Matt Zapotosky answers critical questions about the president’s power to use the military on American soil.

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