Defense Secretary Mark Esper told the nation's governors they should use thousands of National Guard forces to 'dominate the battle-space' – on a call where the President Trump told them they would look like 'fools' otherwise.
Esper pressed governors on the call Monday morning to dramatically increase the use of National Guard troops on the streets, after the president scolded them, saying they would have to 'dominate or you'll look like a bunch of jerks.
'At my urging, I agree we need to dominate the battle-space,' Esper told the governors, who assembled on a conference call.
'We need to dominate the battle-space,' Defense Secretary Mark Esper told governors on a conference call with President Trump Monday
He told them only 17,000 National Guard forces had been deployed – and said only two jurisdictions had more than 1,000 in place. The White House later reinforced the point by saying hundreds of thousands of troops were available.
'We have deep resources in the Guard,' he said. 'I stand ready, the chairman [of the joint chiefs' stands ready, the head of the National Guard stands ready to fully support you in terms of helping to mobilize the Guard,' he said.
'Most of the guard is not being called up. There's only a few states, I count two states where more than 1,000 troops have been called up,' said Esper, who succeeded Defense Secretary Jim Mattis after officials including himself held the post in an acting capacity.
'There will be a central command center in conjunction with state and local governments,' said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, when asked about Trump's statement he would put Gen. Mark Milley in charge of the response
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president wants governors to call up more National Guard troops
Members of the District of Columbia National Guard ride in a vehicle on West Executive Avenue next to the White House, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington, as protesters over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, demonstrate nearby
Military vehicles carrying National Guard personnel drive along West Executive Drive, following national protests against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2020
Trucks transport District of Columbia National Guard troops along Pennsylvania Avenue in support of law enforcement officers that are keeping demonstrators away from the White House June 01, 2020 in Washington, DC
California National Guard soldiers stand guard outside a bike center during nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, amid the global novel coronavirus outbreak in Santa Monica, California, U.S., June 1, 2020
A member of the National Guard stands at the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier, the morning after rioting and looting caused widespread damage, on June 1, 2020 in Santa Monica, California
People, who gathered to protest the death of George Floyd, face off with Metropolitan Police District officers near the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 31 May 2020
Violent protesters surrounded the White House for a fourth day on Sunday and it was revealed that Donald Trump was taken, for a short period of time, to the bunker in the residence on Friday and has expressed he is concerned for his safetysonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day as he was arrested by four police officers over allegedly trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was seen in a video pleading that he couldn't breathe as white officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck
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