Esper says no military for protests as standby troops leave

Secdef Mark Esper

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper is breaking with President Donald Trump’s threats to use active-duty soldiers for law enforcement against violence in U.S. protests.

Esper says that action should be taken “only in the most urgent and dire of situations” and we’re not there now. President Donald Trump has raised the possibility, though the White House has cooled on the idea as protests have calmed in the past two days. In fact, defense officials said some troops who had been brought near Washington were beginning to return to their home base on Wednesday.

When Trump’s press secretary was asked if Esper’s job was in jeopardy, she said that “Secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper.”

Categories: National News