Military police units are reportedly ready to deploy to Minneapolis if needed, The Associated Press reports. President Donald Trump reportedly asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper to have military options prepared as protests and riots continue in Minnesota's largest city in response to the murder of George Floyd. The POTUS made the order on a Thursday night phone call that also included National Security Advisor Robert O' Brien and other Pentagon officials. As one of the anonymous officials on the call told AP, "when the White House asks for options, someone opens the drawer and pulls them out, so to speak."
As a result, authorities have told soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York to prepare for possible deployment within four hours of an order. The military also handed down an order for soldiers at Fort Carson in Colorado and Fort Riley in Kansas, asking units to be ready to deploy within 24 hours of an order. The AP obtained this information from three sources, all of which wished to remain anonymous but had direct knowledge of the preparations.
Despite these orders, Minnesota officials have not made any sort of request for outside aide with managing the protests. In-state units, such as the Minnesota National Guard and state law enforcement, are currently responding to the widespread unrest. Furthermore, Alyssa Farah, the White House's director of strategic communications, claimed that Title 10, a law that authorizes active military responses with the U.S., is "not under discussion."
If Trump does send military units to Minneapolis or other U.S. cities currently dealing with riots, onlookers, such as Washington D.C.-based national security attorney Brad Moss, say it would signal escalation and condemnation of local response.
"If this is where the president is headed response-wise, it would represent a significant escalation and a determination that the various state and local authorities are not up to the task of responding to the growing unrest," Moss told AP.
Trump has not directly commented on the report as of press time, but he took to Twitter on Sunday to condemn "Organized Groups" protesting and Minneapolis' mayor, Jacob Frey. He claimed the city had defended itself "so poorly" and told officials to "get tough and fight (and arrest the bad ones)."