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Defense Sec. Defies Trump: ‘I Don’t Support’ Deploying Troops To Put Down Protests

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In an extraordinary rebuke to President Donald Trump’s threat to unleash military forces to put down the protests sweeping America, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes sending active-duty troops to states if local governments fail to quell unrest.

“I don’t support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Esper said in his first public comments since the protests erupted, referring to a statute the president could invoke the deploy active-duty troops to respond to the protests, according to Politico.

These measures, he said, “should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations.”