White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany come forward on Monday morning to respond to the increasing calls for Donald Trump to issue a national address amid the rapidly escalating riots all over the US.
McEnany shocked many by announcing that “a national Oval Office address is not going to stop Antifa. What’s going to stop Antifa is action, and this president is committed to acting on this.”
Many noted conservative commentators slammed Trump for not making statements about the riots on Sunday evening, despite the fact that White House was under attack and the Secret Services was forced to move Trump to an underground bunker.
National security expert David Reaboi tweeted “I don’t know who’s preventing Trump from doing the right thing and being forceful tonight. But they shouldn’t be working at the White House.”
Fox News political commentator Lisa Boothe chimed in, writing on Twitter “we are leaderless right now and anarchy is winning. Where are our leaders? Where is @realDonaldTrump? There is a leadership vacuum and we need him to fill it. He needs to lead.”
Trump issued multiple statements over the weekend condemning the violence and advocating for justice for George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer last week.
Many on the left condemned Trump’s statements as “unhelpful” and claimed that his calls for “law and order” were inciting further violence.
When questioned about Trump’s silence on Sunday, McEnany said that “He has addressed the absolutely horrific video of George Floyd. He’s routinely addressed … in his remarks less than 48 hours ago the issue of law and order in our streets. He’s issued several statements.”
McEnany went on to remark that “this president is committed to acting on this. He has several meetings pertaining to that today and that’s his focus right now, is acting and keeping our streets safe.”
Time for action
Like his national coronavirus response, Donald Trump has opted to allow state and local leaders deal with protests and riots as they see fit, offering assistance via the Justice Department and US military.
Thus far, some governors have activated their states’ national guard, and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said on Sunday that the federal government will not move to “federalize the guard at this time.”
“If necessary, we have further military assets that can be deployed … if the governors and the mayors need it and they can’t get control of the situation, O’Brien continued, adding that the Trump administration will do “whatever the governors or mayors need to keep control of their cities.”