Defense Secretary Mark Esper reversed his decision to send home some active duty troops deployed to Washington, D.C., after a meeting at the White House Wednesday amid the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd.
In his Wednesday remarks, Esper said he believes the National Guard is “best suited for performing domestic support to civil authorities in these situations in support of local enforcement.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded a few hours later.
“The Insurrection Act is a tool available,” she said. “The president has the sole authority. If he chooses to use it, he will do it.”
In a memo to Defense Department personnel dated Tuesday, Esper stressed the importance of staying away from politics. “As I reminded you in February, I ask that you remember at all times our commitment as a department and as public servants to stay apolitical in these turbulent days,” reads the memo obtained by NBC News