Murphy, Blumenthal look to limit president's use of military to handle protests

News 12 Connecticut

Connecticut's two senators want to limit when the president can use the military against protesters.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy say Washington, D.C. has been turned into a war zone.

The images of federal troops clearing peaceful protesters ahead of President Donald Trump walking across the street to visit a church outraged Murphy. He says what's even more alarming is that many of those troops didn't have identification on them.

"I'll be introducing legislation as soon as we return to Washington next week, with Sen. Schumer, that will require all of law enforcement that is doing crowd control to clearly identify themselves," said Murphy.

Trump also threatened to forcibly send military troops into states to quell protests and rioting, citing the 200-year-old Insurrection Act. Blumenthal is pushing to change the law.

The Trump campaign defended the move this week.

"The president has not invoked the Insurrection Act. It remains an option to him, and I think the secretary left that option open, but right now, let's see if we can use the National Guard troops who are trained to handle these things," said Trump Campaign Communications Director Marc Lotter.

Gov. Ned Lamont has said he sees no reason to call out the National Guard for protests in Connecticut.