Republican Majority Whip Abandons Trump Over Failed Protest Response

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The gaslighting has already begun, but make no mistake: when you saw peaceful protesters gassed and shot at with rubber bullets in Washington D.C. on Monday afternoon, you really saw it. It wasn’t a figment of your imagination, no matter what Trump and his allies try to say now.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Whip John Thurne broke with President Trump (for once) to speak out against his proposed use of the Insurrection Act, which would allow Trump to use military force against his own people. According to The Hill, Thurne said:

‘I think that these tasks ought to be relegated as much as possible to the state and local authorities, the law enforcement and police…You got national guard in the states they can activate. I know there are instances in the past where they’ve had to call up active-duty personnel but I think the goal always is to de-escalate, not escalate. So my view is that’s the right call.’

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said as much earlier in the day after having made the walk with President Trump to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo-op, which prompted guards to tear gas protesters and shoot them with rubber bullets to clear Trump’s way. Esper insists that it was the D.C. police who conducted the act of aggression and not the National Guard. He believes strongly that the National Guard, nor any other branch of the military, should be used against U.S. citizens, even during riots.

‘I’ve always believed and continue to believe that the National Guard is best suited for performing domestic support to civil authorities in these situations in support of local law enforcement.’

While most of the avowed military fans in the GOP have been silent on Trump’s brazen display of constitutional violations on Monday, Esper and Thurne have asserted their opposition to Trump’s planned uses of force against protesters.

‘As a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard, the option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.’

Featured image screenshot via YouTube