Republican senator says former Pentagon chief rebuke of Trump 'necessary'

File – Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

File – Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, on Wednesday accused Trump of "mishandling instances of targeted police brutality and protests across the nation" in the wake of the killing of George Floyd for a white police officer in Minneapolis. Then-California governor Pete Wilson requested additional military support from the federal government at the time.

Kelly said he sides with Mattis' view that Trump shouldn't have threatened the use of active-duty troops to quell protests that have turned violent in some cities.

Milley released a message this week to military leaders stating that the Constitution "is founded on the essential principle that all men and women are born free and equal and should be treated with respect and dignity" and that it "also gives Americans the right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly".

Clarke has strongly criticized United States President Donald J. Trump for continuing to fan the flames of racism.

Sen. Tim Scott R-S.C. arrives for a Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday
Sen. Tim Scott R-S.C. arrives for a Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday

Politico reported President Trump said he would campaign against Murkowski when she runs for re-election in 2022.

Esper's comments Wednesday came after defense officials told CNN this week that there was deep and growing discomfort among some in the Pentagon even before Trump announced Monday that he is ready to deploy active duty forces if local leaders fail to ramp up enforcement efforts.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) noted that he has great respect for Mattis, but said the choice of words in the statement aren't what he would use to describe what's a very hard time in our country.

"I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act", Mr Esper said, referring to the 1807 law Mr Trump wants to use to activate armed military personnel for policing riot-hit cities. "It must not be used in violation of those limits and I see little evidence that President Trump understands this fundamental premise", Smith wrote in a statement on Tuesday calling for Esper and Milley to testify.

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"I would agree that the [Constitution] is always being stressed when public officials - and that might be the military, could be police, could be a president - when public officials are coming close to the edge of the rule of law", John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, said in an interview broadcast on YouTube on Friday. "Perhaps we're getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up". The centuries-old law allows the president to deploy US military domestically to suppress civil disorder.

Retired General Martin Dempsey, a former top U.S. commander, criticised Trump in a radio interview set to air on Friday.

"As you know, Donald Trump doesn't hesitate to make changes if he thinks it's necessary, but I think Mark Esper has been a very good secretary, and I would hope he would be able to stay", Cramer said.

When Mr Mattis quit the White House in 2018, he said he would not criticise the administration because he owed them a "duty of silence". That's all just a bunch of chatter.

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Meanwhile, more than 2,000 National Guard troops remain in Washington, a number expected to climb to 4,500. Murphy said New Jersey's troops were not involved in clearing protesters, but were guarding monuments.

"I would argue that the end result of that was predictable", he said after Trump walked from the White House across Lafayette Square to St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo opportunity Monday evening.

"He should be allowed to express his opinion and his advice should be heeded", said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), whose vote in January helped close up President Trump's impeachment trial, said she thought Mattis' words were true, necessary and overdue.

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