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Politics The secretary of defense spoke out against Trump’s approach to the protests. Yes, this is a big deal.

00:40  04 june  2020
00:40  04 june  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Trump slams governors as 'weak,' urges crackdown on protests

  Trump slams governors as 'weak,' urges crackdown on protests President Donald Trump on Monday derided the nation’s governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of another night of violent protests in dozens of American cities. © ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump speaks to the media as boards Air Force One, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is en route to Kennedy Space Center for the SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch.

US President Donald Trump has denied reports he was rushed to the White House bunker on Friday night during anti -racism protests . Mr Trump told Fox News radio he went down during the day for a "tiny period of time" for an "inspection". There have been protests near the White House, and across

The defense secretary says he does not want active-duty troops used on the streets for now. The pope’ s comments came a day after Christian leaders criticized President Trump for using two He then spoke out about racism against black Canadians and other people of color. “It is a time for us

At a Pentagon news conference Wednesday morning, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper said he opposed invoking the Insurrection Act and using active-duty military forces to help calm the largely peaceful protests that have been taking place around the country. Esper’s comments directly contradict President Trump, who in a nationally televised speech Monday threatened to use the military to “quickly solve the problem,” implicitly suggesting that he would invoke the 1807 law.

Donald Trump et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley escort President Trump on Monday as they leave the White House. (Patrick Semansky/AP) © Patrick Semansky/AP Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley escort President Trump on Monday as they leave the White House. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Esper’s comments also came after many criticized him for walking across Lafayette Square with the president and posing for a photo in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, as well as using language like “we need to dominate the battlespace” on a Monday call with governors. On Tuesday evening, James Miller, a member of the Defense Science Board, which advises the Pentagon, wrote to Esper a letter, published in The Washington Post, to resign his position and to urge Esper to “consider closely both your future actions and your future words.”

‘Glad he is gone’: Trump fires back at Mattis attack describing him as most divisive president

  ‘Glad he is gone’: Trump fires back at Mattis attack describing him as most divisive president President Trump is not happy with his former defense secretary's recent comments condemning his leadership in the wake of the social unrest after George Floyd's death."Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General," Trump tweeted Wednesday night. "I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed to 'Mad Dog' His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom 'brought home the bacon'.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes using the U. S . military to quiet domestic unrest in a break with President Donald Trump Trump has bemoaned governors' "weak" response to the unrest and on Monday he told reporters in the Rose Garden he would deploy federal forces

As Trump spoke from the Rose Garden shortly before Washington’s 7 p.m. curfew, the area around Although Trump addressed Floyd’s death and the early protests during his visit Saturday to the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday defended Trump ’ s handling of the

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It is tempting to dismiss Esper’s comments as words rather than action. He is not resigning in protest, as his recent predecessor, Jim Mattis, did in December 2018. 

However, for Esper to give televised remarks from the Pentagon podium — something that is rare in this administration in normal times — is a significant development. Here’s why:

1. Resignation in protest is very, very rare for high officials.

Mattis’s resignation was quite unusual. In the United States, high officials rarely resign in protest. As I wrote when Mattis resigned, we often expect resignations in protest that do not materialize, as in the case of Colin Powell in the Iraq War.

anti-racism protests: the cheap FIFA boss

 anti-racism protests: the cheap FIFA boss © AFP FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Comment Infantino believes that anti-racism protests by footballers deserve applause. But how would he deal with similar actions at the World Cup in Qatar? The cheap FIFA boss The world can prepare for remarkable scenes when the next World Cup takes place in Qatar in Advent 2022. Numerous guest workers died there because of the inhumane system and the inhumane conditions on the construction sites. The global protest is immense.

Whatever Trump ’ s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other A former undersecretary of defense , James Miller, condemned the president and the defense secretary for using force against protesters in his

President Trump and Melania Trump arriving at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington on Tuesday.Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times. President Trump this week responded to the unrest roiling the nation by visiting two religious sites and calling for more military intervention.

Miller’s resignation is the exception that proves the rule — he was not an official directly involved in the events that he cited in his letter.

There are many self-interested reasons officials do not resign, including protecting their careers, livelihoods and loyalties. After all, presidents are likely to select advisers who are inclined to support them. Presidents also work hard to avoid resignations in protest, sometimes bargaining with their advisers over policy and making sure the advisers are just happy enough to stay onboard.

The costs of resigning in protest are high, but the benefits are particularly low in a highly polarized environment, where the protest part of a resignation in protest may not change many minds. Furthermore, news overload and news fatigue in the Trump era makes it hard for what would normally be big stories to break through. Why should an official resign in protest as a message if the audience isn’t likely to hear what she is saying?

White House ‘frustrated’ with Esper but ‘nobody wants a Cabinet-level shakeup’: sources

  White House ‘frustrated’ with Esper but ‘nobody wants a Cabinet-level shakeup’: sources Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s job may be secure, at least for the time being.Two senior administration officials told Fox News that Trump was “frustrated” by Esper’s remarks, but that now is not the time to make any major changes.

Defence secretary 's opposition to Trump ' s calls for military force 'did not go over well' at the White House. Republican senator pushes back against Trump while criticising church photo op. Pentagon officials who spoke to the news outlet said they never believed the Department of Defense

As Trump spoke from the Rose Garden shortly before Washington’s 7 p.m. curfew, the area around Although Trump addressed Floyd’s death and the early protests during his visit Saturday to the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday defended Trump ’ s handling of the

Of course, there are other reasons resigning in protest might be considered appropriate, and Esper may yet do so. But such events are uncommon for a reason.

2. Public, on-camera opposition is also rare — and this will get attention.

When Cabinet officials oppose the president or even resign, they more often do so in print — often anonymously. (Remember that anonymous op-ed writer?) Even Mattis issued his disagreement via a letter of resignation. Furthermore, Mattis disagreed with Trump over the president’s decision to remove troops from Syria and Trump’s antagonism toward U.S. allies.

But most voters do not pay much attention to foreign policy. Esper’s comments were about using U.S. troops to suppress protests — an issue far more Americans know and care about.

3. Advisers can affect public and congressional opinion.

When advisers speak out in public, their words have consequences. In my research on the politics of the use of force, I have found that advisers are significant political actors whose statements can affect public opinion. Jim Golby, Peter Feaver and Kyle Dropp have shown that public cues from the military shape public views of using force — especially when the military opposes using force.

Trump shares letter that calls peaceful protesters 'terrorists'

  Trump shares letter that calls peaceful protesters 'terrorists' President Donald Trump on Thursday shared a letter on Twitter that referred to the peaceful protesters who were forcibly dispersed from a park near the White House on Monday evening as "terrorists."President Donald Trump on Thursday shared a letter on Twitter that referred to the peaceful protesters who were forcibly dispersed from a park near the White House on Monday evening as "terrorists.

Defense secretary opposes invoking the Insurrection Act to allow the U. S . military to be tapped to curb unrest. The family of George Floyd expects charges to be filed against three more Minneapolis police Protests in most major cities Tuesday night were relatively calm. Many cities intensified their

Trump also urged that states should enact laws against flag burning – a first amendment right. Trump repeatedly said the protesters were from the “radical left” and likened the protests to the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, speaking favourably of how those protests were forcibly put down.

This might not tell us about the effects of Esper’s words. He is a civilian, and all this research examines using military force abroad rather than at home.

That said, it is plausible that Americans are more likely to pay attention when Esper speaks out on camera, contradicting the president’s stated preference to use the military on domestic soil to quell protests, than when an adviser talks about the use of force abroad (which we already know can affect public attitudes). Esper’s news conference will probably get attention among members of Congress, as well.

4. Esper’s news conference shows how Trump (mis)manages his advisory team.

All presidents face internal disagreement — in fact, some presidents welcome it. However, when disagreement happens, presidents have the task of managing the internal political fallout. They want to project unity, to help generate support for their policies. As my research on presidential bargaining with elites shows, sometimes presidents have to make concessions on policy, or how policies are implemented, to get that unity. This is one reason advisers have power and most often stay in their posts.

Trump does not play this bargaining game. Instead, he generates unity by demanding loyalty and firing those who disagree with him (as may yet happen with Esper). As Jonathan Bernstein has argued, this is one of the ways Trump fails to exercise his presidential power to his own maximum advantage.

89 former defense officials say they are 'alarmed' by Trump's threat to use the military to end nationwide unrest

  89 former defense officials say they are 'alarmed' by Trump's threat to use the military to end nationwide unrest They said that the president is betraying his oath to support and defend the Constitution by threatening to use the military to quash protests."Trump continues to use inflammatory language as many Americans protest the unlawful death of George Floyd and the unjust treatment of black Americans by our justice system," they wrote, arguing that the president's rhetoric has become more aggressive as the protests have grown.

By lunchtime, there were already news reports that Trump was, predictably, very unhappy with Esper’s statements. Trump has fired other Cabinet officials without facing major political costs (including his first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson). But if Trump ends up firing Esper, it may have political consequences.

Up to this point, Republicans in Congress have mostly been willing to line up to support Trump, in part because they fear the electoral consequences if they don’t. But as Michael Tesler showed here at TMC and Dan Drezner has also argued, Trump’s handling of the protests is likely to hurt rather than help him politically.

It’s usually a good bet that Republicans will continue to back Trump. But a public breach with the secretary of defense in the middle of a major national crisis involving the use of military force on American soil may still be a politically dangerous moment for the president.

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Read more:

Is Trump hurting the military?

Can Trump send the military to shut down protests? Here’s what you need to know.

Militarizing the police does not reduce crime, our research found.

The George Floyd protests will not help Trump win reelection. Here’s why.

Trump says the Supreme Court would allow a ‘very powerful flag-burning statute.’ He’s wrong.

“That disgusts me”: Top military officers in the US distance themselves from Donald Trump .
© AFP US President Donald Trump Donald Trump actually feels a mixture of admiration and envy for highly decorated top military officers. "I had a meeting with a lot of generals in the Pentagon," he said at the beginning of his presidency: "They were like a movie. They looked better than Tom Cruise and they were stronger. ” Management, discipline and obedience impress him. "I think I would have been a good general," believes the man who once avoided military service.

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