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Republican Sen. Tom Cotton claims the 101st Airborne could be called to quell 'domestic terrorism' at Black Lives Matter protests

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6/1/2020 insider@insider.com (Eliza Relman)
Tom Cotton standing in front of a sign: Sen. Tom Cotton on Fox News Screenshot/Fox News © Screenshot/Fox News Sen. Tom Cotton on Fox News Screenshot/Fox News
  • Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, on Monay pushed for the use of military force against Black Lives Matter demonstrators, some of whom have engaged in looting and other criminal acts. 
  • "If local politicians will not do their most basic job to protect our citizens, let's see how these anarchists respond when the 101st Airborne is on the other side of the street," Cotton said on Fox News. 
  • Cotton's comments echoed Trump's rhetoric, which has included threatening "the unlimited power" of the US military against protesters.
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Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, pushed for the use of military force against demonstrators who've taken to the streets and, in some cases, protested violently against police brutality and racism. 

"If local politicians will not do their most basic job to protect our citizens, let's see how these anarchists respond when the 101st Airborne is on the other side of the street," Cotton said during a Monday morning interview on Fox News. 

Cotton, who's closely aligned with President Donald Trump, elaborated on his position on Twitter, calling violence at protests "domestic terrorism."

"We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction," he wrote, calling protesters "Antifa terrorists." "And, if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry — whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters."

Cotton's comments echoed Trump's rhetoric, which has included threatening "the unlimited power" of the US military against protesters. Trump also threatened demonstrators outside the White House with "vicious dogs" and "ominous weapons" he said the Secret Service was prepared to use against them. 

"That's when people would have been really badly hurt, at least," the president added. 

In another tweet, Trump quoted a racist white police chief who sparked riots in the 1960s saying, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." 

Civil rights leaders and many others, including DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, have called Trump's comments racist dog whistles. 

 
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