President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he has “authorized” the federal government to arrest anyone who defaces a federal statue.
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent,” he said. “This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!”
Trump doubles down:
Trump told reporters that he is “looking at long term jail sentences for these vandals, hoodlums, anarchists and agitators.”
“Some people don't like that language, but that's what they are: Bad people. They don't love our country, and they're not taking down our monuments," Trump said. "I just want that to be clear."
Trump said to expect an executive order on the matter “shortly.”
"I will have an executive order very shortly. And all it's really going to do is reinforce what's already there, but in a more uniform way," Trump said. "If the state governments, as you see them, all over, Seattle. They're very weak. And in Minnesota, they might need help. If they need help, the federal government is willing to help them."
Trump Jr. trolls:
Donald Trump Jr. sought to troll Democrats by calling to replace any statue with another one of his father.
“Let’s get a movement going to replace any statue torn down during these riots with a new and more sturdy statue of @realDonaldTrump,” he tweeted. “The nonsense would stop instantly.”