When asked about Trump’s request to restore the Pike statue, the National Park Service said: “It is the intention of the National Park Service to mitigate any damage to any statue, monument and monument damaged due to any criminal activity.”
The marshals’ help in protecting monuments deemed racist or problematic is in stark contrast to when the marshals protected James Meredith, the first black man to attend the University of Mississippi, under the leadership of President John F. Kennedy. That moment in 1962 is believed to be one of the proudest in the history of the US Marshals. USA
“The US Marshals Service does not confirm or deny any possible compliance activity,” the agency said in response to a request for comment.
And Trump plans to sign an executive order in the next few days to protect the national statues and monuments, he said Wednesday. The content of the order was not immediately clear and authorities said they were still drafting it.
The efforts amount to a concerted push by the Trump administration to protect and maintain monuments and statues, including those linked to the country’s racist past, which mimics its efforts earlier this month to crack down on protests.
Trump on Wednesday characterized attempts to remove racist or troublesome monuments as going to extremes.
“I think a lot of the people who are knocking down the statues don’t even have a clue what the statue is, what it means, who it is when they knocked it down,” Trump said, citing the fall of a bust of the Union general. and former President Ulysses S. Grant as an example.
“Now they are looking at Jesus Christ, they are looking at George Washington, they are looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. It will not happen, it will not happen while I am here,” Trump said.
There have been no widespread reports of activists tearing down statues of Jesus.
Some have called for a Lincoln statue to be removed in Washington’s Capitol Hill neighborhood because their depiction of the 16th president standing over a freed slave is considered problematic.
While Trump listed names like Washington, Lincoln, and Jesus, his attempt to preserve the monuments originated against attempts to remove statues of Confederate generals and soldiers. Trump has said that they should not be removed.
He did not mention the statues of the Confederacy on Wednesday, saying that Democrats “don’t care if that happens or not.”
“I think the American people understand that. So we are going to have a very strong executive order. It will happen very quickly before the end of the week,” Trump said.
In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 52% of Americans said they supported removing the Confederate statues.
“The District of Columbia National Guard is responding to a request to support law enforcement officials and has sent unarmed personnel, with others on hold,” National Guard spokesman Robert Perino said in a statement. to CNN. “Activated guards are expected to provide security for local monuments and critical infrastructure.”
A defense official said Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy signed the memorandum Tuesday authorizing the activation of the DC National Guard forces, after National Park Police requested assistance.
The official strongly emphasized that Guard forces have not yet been dispatched to the streets and that until now all have remained inside their barracks. There are currently around 100 soldiers in the immediate area of Washington, DC. Activation could grow to 400 in total to rotate troops if necessary. The Pentagon hopes that the guard forces will be used as a stopgap until the Justice Department can assemble additional federal police personnel to take over the mission, the defense official said. However, guard units are expected to remain in the DC area until July 4.
CNN’s Evan Pérez, Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne contributed to this report.