A U-turn, an angry U.S. president and a fateful walk to a church - 2020-06-07
According to a senior defence official, Trump wanted 10,000 federal troops immediately on the streets to control a situation some aides believed could escalate dangerously.
Esper and Milley, however, argued against calling out the active-duty forces, fearful that it would militarize a problem that should be handled by civilian law enforcement. Violent elements among the protest crowds, the two men believed, were too small and manageable to justify calling out the military.
Attorney General William Barr on Sunday denied Trump asked for 10,000 troops. The White House neither disputed nor confirmed the figure. A senior White House official recalled Trump urging Esper and Milley to get as many troops as needed to secure the city. The president stressed that Sunday night's unrest, in which St. John's Episcopal Church sustained fire damage and some businesses were vandalized, had shown that security was inadequate.