By Alex Rogers, CNN
Updated 4:20 PM ET, Sun May 31, 2020
(CNN)President Donald Trump pledged a crackdown of the protests that arose from the police killing of George Floyd, sparking concerns from some Democrats and Republicans that his response to the crisis further deepens the divide in a country already unnerved by a pandemic, distressed economy and racial unrest.
Mayors from at least 25 cities issued curfews for Saturday night, as police responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and arrests to disperse occasionally violent crowds. In the nation’s capital, more than 1,000 demonstrators hit the streets, including some who threw bricks and dispersed only early Sunday morning when the Secret Service began to fire tear gas.
The President tweeted on Saturday that if protesters breached the White House’s fence, they would “have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.” And he called on Democratic officials to “get MUCH tougher” or the federal government “will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.”
On Sunday, Trump tweeted his thanks to the National Guard and the job they did in Minneapolis Saturday night before calling for the National Guard to be used in “Other Democrat run Cities and States.”
As of Sunday morning, approximately 5,000 Guard Soldiers and Airmen were activated in response to civil disturbances in 15 states and the District of Columbia, with another 2,000 prepared to activate if needed, according to a statement from the National Guard Bureau of Public Affairs.
Elected officials on both sides of the aisle said on Sunday that the President should instead focus on unifying the nation or decline to address the country at all.