Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser surprised many by ordering President Donald Trump to remove federal troops and law enforcement officers from the nation's capital on Friday. In a letter delivered to the president, Bowser noted that the extra presence "inflaming" the heated situation and only adding to the discord.
The mayor later made a statement against the president and the police presence by adding the words Black Lives Matter on the street leading to Lafayette Park, and then renaming the square in front of the White House Black Lives Matter Plaza.
.@MayorBowser is grossly incompetent, and in no way qualified to be running an important city like Washington, D.C. If the great men and women of the National Guard didn’t step forward, she would have looked no better than her counterpart Mayor in Minneapolis!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
"The protestors have been peaceful, and last night, the Metropolitan Police Department did not make a single arrest. Therefore, I am requesting that you withdraw all extraordinary law enforcement and military presence from Washington, DC," Bowser's letter to Trump read.
The president hit back at the mayor on Twitter, his platform of choice, slamming her leadership in the city and her decisions against National Guard troops brought into the city from out of town.
"[Mayor Bowser] is grossly incompetent, and in no way qualified to be running an important city like Washington, D.C.," Trump wrote. "If the great men and women of the National Guard didn't step forward, she would have looked no better than her counterpart Mayor in Minneapolis!"
Trump had previously knocked Bowser the day before, possibly leading to her decision to stand with protesters on Saturday. He referred to Bowser as incompetent and made threats to bring in other troops.
"The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., [Mayor Bowser], who's budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for "handouts", is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment," Trump wrote. "If she doesn't treat these men and women well, then we'll bring in a different group of men and women!"
The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. pic.twitter.com/bbJgAYE35b— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020
Bowser hit back on Saturday by joining protesters in D.C. and ensuring there is no curfew in place. According to CNN, the last night for curfew in the District was Wednesday. Saturday will mark the 12th day of protests across the United States. It also comes days after Trump's controversial photo-op in the area now featuring the Black Lives Matter slogan.
"We want to call attention today to making sure our nation is more fair and more just, and that black lives and that black humanity matter in our nation," Bowser told NBC News Thursday.