On Thursday, 04th June 2020, President Donald Trump shared a letter on his Twitter account, referring to the protesters forcibly dispersed from a park where they had gathered to protest as “terrorists.” The protesters had gathered at the park, which was very close to the White House on Monday evening. The letter, written by veteran attorney and a former lawyer to President Donald Trump, John Dowd, appears to be addressed to former secretary of Défense, James Mattis.
Earlier Wednesday, the former secretary of Défense had issued a statement severely censuring a response from President Donald Trump to the ongoing protests in almost all parts of the United States after four Minneapolis police officers gruesomely killed George Floyd. The letter emphatically states that “The phoney protesters near Lafayette were not peaceful and are not real,” Dowd’s letter claimed, without citing any evidence. “They are terrorists using idle hate-filled students to burn and destroy. They were abusing and disrespecting the police when the police were preparing the area for the 1900 curfew,” a report by CNN indicates.
The reason that pushed President Donald Trump to share the content of the letter remains unknown. It is quite a shocking development as the protestors held to the act peacefully and are only exercising their rights constitutionally. President Donald Trump has, however, portrayed his strongman approach to developments in the country amid the ongoing demonstration across the United States. On 1st June 2020, President Donald Trump declared himself “your President of law and order” as the protesters who appeared to peacefully hold on to the protest outside the gates of the Whitehouse were dispersed with flashbangs, rubber bullets, and gas.
The letter tweeted by President Donald Trump has received condemnation from MMAA, a non-profit making institution for the rights of LGBTQ military and veteran community. Its statement read “Donald Trump just crossed a severe line that demands swift and forceful condemnation by every Member of Congress,” said the group’s interim executive director, Air Force veteran Jennifer Dane. “Promoting a letter that labels American citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights as ‘terrorists’ is an egregious breach of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Now more than ever, it is absolutely crucial that Trump be held accountable for his reckless actions.”
Donald Trump has on several instances defended his actions against the peaceful protesters and even tweeted that he sees no problem with the National Guard helicopter that flew low over the protesters as they held protest close to the White House on Monday night. The act by the National Guard is currently being investigated by the District of Columbia National Guard, which has seen inquiry requested by the Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper. Per indications of the National Guard, the helicopter is tasked to deter unlawful assembly and also to provide medical evacuation from the crowd if needed and provide surveillance to command and control for force protection, the official said.
In response to these developments, President Donald Trump issued a tweet that reads, “The problem is not the very talented, low-flying helicopter pilots wanting to save our city, the problem is the arsonists, looters, criminals, and anarchists, wanting to destroy it (and our country)!