During discussions with senior Pentagon officials prior to remarks he made on Monday in the Rose Garden about possibly sending military troops into U.S. cities to quell demonstrations taking place, President Donald Trump raised the idea of using tanks as part of a larger strategy to “dominate” protesters, according to a disturbing report from The Daily Beast.

“A senior DOD official said it was the White House that requested military helicopters fly low over protesters in D.C. and that it was part of a broader request from the Trump team that the national guard ramp up its presence in the city. The Associated Press was the first to report about the military flyover being connected to a request from President Trump.

“Additionally, the president has pressed aides and Pentagon officials for graphic details on the kind of armored vehicles, military units, aircraft, and even ‘tanks’ that they could potentially send to maintain order in U.S. areas rocked by protests and rioting, according to two people familiar with recent discussions.”

An administration official suggested the president wasn’t specifically calling for tanks to be used in the nation’s capital, but was only wondering what sort of military hardware could be used as a show of force:

“I think that is just one of the military words he knows.”

The Pentagon is said to be consumed with tremendous “discomfort” about using the military as part of a larger White House strategy to control the protests that sprung up after George Floyd was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis when a police officer asphyxiated Floyd by putting his knee on the victim’s neck for almost nine minutes.

So far, Trump has stepped back from invoking the Insurrection Act, which would give him the power to send military troops into American cities. The last time the Insurrection Act was invoked was in 1992, when the military was used in Los Angeles to help control riots that took place in connection with the brutal beating of Rodney King by members of the Los Angeles Police Department. But in that case, the troops were welcome by then-California Gov. Pete Wilson (R).

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