At the time, an angry Trump made it clear to then-cabinet members Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley that he wanted active military personnel to patrol the streets in DC, officials told the Times.
You could have convinced him not to do that, reported the paper, and Trump ultimately did not invoke the act. But, according to the Times, White House aides were preparing a ready-to-use document in case the situation outside the White House escalated and Trump knew the proclamation had been drafted.
Trump denied to the Times that he wanted to station the military in the country’s capital. “It’s absolutely not true and if it were true I would have,” he told the newspaper.
Earlier this month, a guard dog report found that US park police had not evacuated protesters against racial injustice from Lafayette Park last year to enable the then president to march to St. John’s Church. The report released by the Inspector General of the Home Office found that the protesters had been removed so that a contractor could erect a secure fence around the White House.
The park police had authority to move the protesters outside the White House during the clash last June, the report said.
The law enforcement response during the Lafayette Square incident in 2020 was a major source of dispute as Democratic lawmakers pushed for information on who ordered the eviction of the park, which federal agencies were involved, and what measures and permits were used.