Fox & Friends anchor Jillian Mele claimed that the Trump administration’s reinstatement of a program that will give local police departments access to military surplus equipment will offer “major backup” to officers on “the front lines of protests.” In 2015, the Obama administration barred federal agencies from providing local police departments with some military-style equipment, including grenade launchers and bayonets. As The Washington Post's Radley Balko explained, the equipment specifically banned by the Obama administration “was designed for use on the battlefield,” and there is “no appropriate domestic application for a tracked tank or for guns that shoot .50-caliber ammunition.” Fox News has previously criticized the order from the Obama administration, falsely accusing the former president of “disarming the force” and leaving officers “unarmed.” From the August 28 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
JILLIAN MELE (ANCHOR): Two big protests descending on Washington this morning. Al Sharpton leading the 1,000 Ministers March for Justice on the National Mall. And a 10-day march to Washington kicks off in Charlottesville in response to the deadly clashes in Virginia earlier this month.
And President Trump is providing major backup for our police officers on the front lines of those protests. He’s reinstating a program that supplies local police departments with surplus military equipment, including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and high-caliber weapons. Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions will announce the change later today.