In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night, President Donald Trump threatened to deploy as many as 75,000 federal law enforcement officers to U.S. cities to quell violent crime, regardless of whether local officials request the assistance.
“At some point, we’re going to have to do something much stronger than being invited in” — Trump teases using federal authorities to invade cities against the will of local officials pic.twitter.com/ycuCntX62k— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 24, 2020
“We’re going to all of the cities, any of the cities, we’re ready,” Trump said. “We’ll put in 50,000, 60,000 people that really know what they’re doing and they’re strong, they’re tough. And we could solve these problems so fast, but, as you know, we have to be invited in. At some point, we’re going to have to do something that’s much stronger than being invited in, but we have to be invited in.”
Later in the interview, Trump upped the number to 75,000, which would represent three-quarters of the total number of federal law-enforcement officers in the U.S., according to CNN.
Trump also mocked Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for getting tear-gassed by federal officers this week.
Trump on the tear gassing of Portland’s mayor by federal officers:— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) July 24, 2020
“He wanted to be among the people, so he went into the crowd and they knocked the hell out of him. That was the end of him. So it was pretty — pretty pathetic.”https://t.co/TaQKqcAP3U pic.twitter.com/4qz5Owu3c0
“He made a fool out of himself,” Trump said. “He wanted to be among the people so he went into the crowd and they knocked the hell out of him. That was the end of him.”
On Thursday night, in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against federal agents in Portland, prohibiting them from threatening to arrest, arresting, dispersing or using force against journalists and legal observers who attend ongoing racial justice protests.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration sent a team of tactical border officers to Seattle on Thursday.