White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is asked about the Insurrection Act at Wednesday's White House press briefing:
REPORTER: Kayleigh, first on Secretary Esper’s comments: Is the President presently considering using the — invoking the Insurrection Act? Or is that completely off the table at this point?
MS. MCENANY: So it’s a very good question. The President has the sole authority to invoke the Insurrection Act. It is definitely a tool within his power. This President has one singular aim, and it is protecting America’s streets.
We cannot have burning churches. We cannot have police officers who are shot. We cannot have businesses that are looted and destroyed. The Insurrection Act is a tool available. The President has the sole authority. And if needed, he will use it. But at this time, he’s relying on surging the streets with National Guard. It’s worked to great effect here in D.C. and in Minnesota as well.
REPORTER: And, Kayleigh, back to that incident on Monday: Are you saying that all the officers who were at that protest clearing that largely peaceful protest were acting appropriately? There were well-documented incidents of — in one case, one member of law enforcement bashing the camera of an Australian journalism crew. This isn’t about the journalists; this is about the other peaceful protesters there as well.
Did every officer in that protest — was that pro- — was that protest cleared in a way that the White House believes was entirely appropriate? So that should be the model for the rest of the country?
MS. MCENANY: I think the U.S. Park Services, when having bricks thrown at them and frozen water bottles, had the right to act. They acted with the appropriate level of force to protect themselves and to protect the average citizenry and to protect the peaceful protesters who were among them as well.