Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said President Donald Trump should “put the National Guard” in Chicago to help address gun violence there, echoing a suggestion Trump made over a year ago. Such a deployment likely isn’t legal and experts say it wouldn’t address the root causes of the violence there.
On January 24, 2017, Trump tweeted he “will send in the Feds” in an apparent response to an O’Reilly Factor segment about Chicago gun violence earlier that night. Trump’s vague tweet led to speculation that he meant he’d order National Guard troops into Chicago to help quell the violence there. Local officials expressed their opposition to the idea, including Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson who pointed out that National Guard troops are “not trained for this type of action” and might not have the authority to arrest people. Legal experts told reporters that deploying the National Guard to Chicago “would be a huge mistake” and a waste of resources, and explained that since Chicago’s gun violence is “a long-term problem that needs long-term solutions,” troops “are not the answer” for such a public safety issue. And furthermore, a deployment of the National Guard by the president and not the governor for civil law enforcement is likely illegal under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, in the absence of a rebellion against the federal government.
Nevertheless, Kilmeade has raised the idea again more than a year later. From the March 28 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Gianno, in New York City it was the Wild West, the Bronx Zoo. It stopped. Crime is ridiculously low and it's fantastic news. In Baltimore and Chicago, same thing, the cops backed out and the gangs moved in. Do you want the president to do more like he promised to do when he was going to get elected? Do you think it's time to send the National Guard in there?
GIANNO CALDWELL (FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST): You know, that's a really good question because after that situation occurred with my little brother, I went to the White House the very next week and I told them that it's time to keep his commitment. He said if Chicago doesn't stop the carnage, I will send the feds. And I think it was maybe a couple weeks later, they sent in a smaller group, but there is definitely time to do more.
KILMEADE: Put the National Guard in there.