President Donald Trump said that the protests running rampant across the nation were "perfectly under control" as he ordered the National Guard to withdraw from the streets.
The move comes after three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff severely criticized his use of excessive force to try and control the protesters calling out justice for the death of George Floyd.
The three officials noted that the use of the military to drive protesters back from the White House would risk losing credibility with the citizens of the United States, as reported by The New York Times.
Trump said that the National Guard could now retreat "now that everything is under perfect control." He added that the troops will be going home but that they can return quickly if the situation needs them to.
The United States president also noted that he saw fewer protesters last night than they have expected. The daylong protest on Saturday around the White House, however, seemed to be far more extensive than the demonstrations that they have conducted over the past week.
The protests have called police officers' use to chemical deterrents to disperse and control the demonstrations. One event also had the use of flash-bang grenades to clear protesters to make way for Trump to take a photo op in front of a church. Several helicopters hovered at roof level, scattering debris and causing the crowd to clear out.
Previously, the White House planned on deploying 10,000 active-duty troops to several cities across the US to quell the protests. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, along with the Joints Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley pushed the order of sending the troops into US streets back, according to CNN.
Esper, however, deployed 1,600 active-duty troops to be stationed in Washington to be ready to assist the National Guard already there. Still, the 5,000 troops did not need any support, which led to the recalling of the deployed personnel on Thursday night.
No intention to deploy
Both Attorney General William and Barr and the White House denied the claims that President Trump wanted to deploy 10,000 active-duty troops to the cities affected by the protests.
"The President never asked or suggested that we needed to deploy regular troops at that point," said Barr, and noted that it had been done previously and they actively try to avoid that situation. He also shared that he was glad they were able to avoid in on this circumstance.
Business Insider reported that the attorney general also revealed that the troops were put on standby should they be needed and that they were not demanded to be placed on the streets.
The move to deploy troops to the streets of Washington was called "dangerous for our democracy," and "dangerous for our country," said retired Army General Colin L. Powell.
Powell noted that the United States has a constitution that we should follow but that we have strayed away from it.
President Trump has considered invoking the 1807 Insurrection Act that aims to deploy active-duty troops within American cities. Barr and Milley, however, advised the president that the move was unsuited to the situation, a conversation that grew loud and heated.
On Thursday, after a standoff with Pentagon officials, Trump agreed to withdraw the deployed 82nd Airborne Division troops he had previously sent to the streets.