Trump Def. Sec. Won’t Rule Out Sending Active Troops To Guard Polls In US Cities

DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr (cropped)

JakeThomas

Members of Congress had asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper to commit to refusing to send troops to the polls.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper would not rule out sending active-duty troops to U.S. cities on Election Day after members of Congress asked him to commit to refusing to do so.

  • The New York Times reports that Democratic Reps. Elissa Slotkin (MI) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ) released Espers written answers on Tuesday, in which he wrote: “The U.S. military has acted, and will continue to act, in accordance with the Constitution and the law.”
  • Members of Congress had asked Esper to commit both to refusing to send troops to polling places and to facilitating a peaceful transfer of power after the election.
  • President Trump has not committed to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses in November.
  • “Senior leaders at the Pentagon are privately discussing what to do if Mr. Trump invokes the Insurrection Act and tries to send troops into the streets," the newspaper reported.
  • The Times noted that “Esper’s answers also diverge from the words of Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was explicit in stating his desire to keep the armed forces out of the election.”

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