Kayleigh McEnany discussed President Trump’s plan to curb rioting, looting, and ANTIFA violence at Monday’s White House press briefing.
MS. MCENANY: Good afternoon, everyone. The President has made clear that what we are seeing on America’s streets is unacceptable. Violence, looting, anarchy, lawlessness are not to be tolerated, plain and simple. These criminal acts are not protest. They are not statements. These are crimes that harm innocent American citizens. The First Amendment guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble. What we saw last night in Washington and across the country was not that. To that end, President Trump is demanding action to protect American citizens, to protect American businesses. Seventeen thousand National Guard are deployed in 24 states, but according to General Milley, only two states have deployed more than 1,000. There are 350,000 National Guard available overall, and for the lawlessness we are seeing, far more needs to be done. Governors across the country must act, deploy the National Guard as it’s fit, and protect American communities. As President Trump has said repeatedly, it’s very important that we have peaceful protesters and support the rights of peaceful protesters, but we cannot allow a situation like what happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos, and we understand that very well. And with that, I’ll take questions. Q Kayleigh? MS. MCENANY: Yes. Q To your point, the country is in crisis. There’s a global pandemic that has claimed more than 100,000 lives. At least 40 million people are unemployed. There are now protests and racial tension ripping apart many cities. Where is the President? Why has he not delivered an address to the nation, as many of his predecessors have in a time of domestic crisis? MS. MCENANY: So the President has delivered multiple statements on this. The President, as recently as 48 hours ago, was out talking about what a tragedy the death of George Floyd was, how it has weighed on his heart, and how he encourages peace and lawfulness in our streets and peaceful protest. So he has said that repeatedly. He’s made many statements to this effect. But what I would note is: Continual statements – as he’s made day and day and day and day again – they don’t stop anarchy. What stops anarchy is action, and that’s what the President is working on right now.