On Sunday President Trump said that he ordered the National Guard to begin withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that “everything is under perfect control” after protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control. They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed,” Trump tweeted.
“Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!” Trump added.
His Sunday morning announcement followed a tweet Saturday night thanking the National Guard, Secret Service and D.C. police for doing a “fantastic job” responding to the protests. He said there was a “much smaller crowd” in the District “than anticipated.”
The commander of D.C. National Guard told CNN on Saturday that thousands of troops called in from other states in response to the protests could begin leaving the nation’s capital as early as Monday.
Mayor of D.C. Muriel Bowser, sent a letter to Trump Friday requesting he withdraw all “extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence,” noting that she had ended the state of emergency in the Distinct related to the demonstrations.
In her letter, Bowser noted that the protests had been peaceful and that the police did not make a “single arrest” during the previous two nights.
The nearly 4,000 additional National Guard forces “will be redeploying this week. Probably as early as Monday,” Maj. Gen. William J. Walker said.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy also told the network that several nights of peaceful protests after earlier incidents of looting and property damage have increased the likelihood of withdrawing the out-of-state troops.
“Well, we’re looking very hard at that. I think that if we look at the trend that we’re on right now we’re in very good shape and we’re looking at that option very closely,” McCarthy said, citing the large but incident-free crowds that gathered in the nation’s capital on Saturday. The secretary of the Army oversees D.C. National Guard, as do governors for their states’ equivalents.