President Donald Trump praised the National Guard for ending violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the site of heavy protests after Jacob Blake was shot and partially paralyzed by police officers. Violence broke out after 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters.
“Succes (sic): Since the National Guard moved into Kenosha, Wisconsin, two days ago, there has been NO FURTHER VIOLENCE, not even a small problem. When legally asked to help by local authorities, the Federal Government will act and quickly succeed. Are you listening Portland?” the president wrote, referencing protests that had erupted in Oregon’s largest city over racial injustice and police brutality in recent weeks.
Success: Since the National Guard moved into Kenosha, Wisconsin, two days ago, there has been NO FURTHER VIOLENCE, not even a small problem. When legally asked to help by local authorities, the Federal Government will act and quickly succeed. Are you listening Portland?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2020
In fact, Governor Tony Evers (D) ordered the National Guard into Kenosha to quell violence, a fact noted by Stephen Vladeck, the A. Dalton Cross Professor in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and an expert in national security law.
Just like what happened in Minneapolis, Trump is taking credit for a Democratic Governor sending in his state’s National Guard to restore order in a situation in which Trump could have—but didn’t—federalize the response. pic.twitter.com/AJa8AwBui2
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) August 28, 2020
Earlier this week, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Evers had refused the assistance of the National Guard.
“We have a National Guard standing by that if the general for the National Guard needs additional help, we’re there to do it,” Meadows said at the time. “But today, that request was denied by the governor.”
Though Evers did speak with Meadows and Trump, Meadows reportedly offered federal assistance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and not the National Guard.
“The governor informed them that we would be increasing Wisconsin National Guard support in Kenosha and therefore would not need federal assistance in response to protests but would welcome additional federal support and resources for our state’s response to COVID-19,” Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said.