WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President Trump announced his intention to invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the armed services across the country in response to protests of George Floyd’s murder.
“As we battle two pandemics at once – the COVID-19 virus, and the scourge of racism – President Trump’s decision to invoke the Insurrection Act, and his inflammatory rhetoric, proves that he cannot lead us through these tumultuous times and unite the country. Instead, he has decided to rely on the use of force to address those who he views as a threat.
“Rather than trying to calm tensions in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Trump has used inflammatory rhetoric, inciting violence against fellow Americans who are protesting. Rather than leading the national conversation about the need to reform our policing practices and address underlying inequalities, Trump has labeled protestors as ‘thugs’ and threatened them, using the language of segregationists.
“The domestic deployment of our armed services is an incredibly serious undertaking that should not be taken lightly. It is un-American to use our service members to ‘dominate’ civilians, as both the President and Secretary of Defense have suggested. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship.
“I urge President Trump to reverse course and use the full weight of the presidency to calm tensions across the country, not escalate them. It simply doesn’t have to be this way.”