Mayor Muriel Bowser called on President Donald Trump Thursday to recall federal law enforcement deployed into the District amid recent protests.
Bowser called on Trump, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to remove all “extraordinary” federal law enforcement and military presence from D.C. “immediately,” including National Guardsmen from out of state in a series of letters. The Department of Defense has disarmed National Guardsmen deployed to the District, The Washington Post reported Friday.
“The protestors have been peaceful, and last night, the Metropolitan Police Department did not make a single arrest,” Bowser wrote in a letter to Trump Thursday.
Since the letter was made public Friday morning, Trump has publicly criticized Bowser’s handling of the protests on Twitter.
“The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., @MayorBowser, who’s budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for ‘handouts,’ is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment over the last number of nights,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets Friday. “If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!”
Bowser said she is focused on “bringing people together” in response to Trump’s tweets.
“There are so many things that I can respond to in that tweet, but I think that we all have to just refocus on what’s in front of us, and that is that our nation is hurting and it’s in need of healing,” she said at a press conference Friday.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a tweet Friday that Bowser was planning to remove members of the Utah National Guard deployed to the District from their hotel.
“Evicting Utah National Guard personnel from their hotels after a late-night shift risking their lives to protect Washington is a shameful, petty, discrediting decision by Mayor Bowser,” Lee said in a statement.
Bowser said at a press conference that D.C. officials “don’t have any issue” with troops being housed in local hotels, but the Department of Defense needs to pay for their accommodations. Although the hotel may have raised billing issues with the guardsmen, she has not forced them to leave the Marriott Marquis, she said.
The guardsmen have since been relocated to a different hotel, ABC News reported.
“D.C. residents cannot pay their hotel bills,” Bowser said in a tweet Friday. “The army can clear that up with the hotel today, and we are willing to help.”