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George Floyd protests: Active-duty troops brought to Washington DC to leave nation's capital

Active-duty troops brought to Washington DC amid George Floyd protests have begun to leave the national capital, according to a report.

Senior defence officials with the Trump administration told the Associated Press active troops are already returning to their home base after coming to DC.

On Wednesday, 200 soldiers were pulled from the area to return to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the official said. The rest of the troops, about 1,300 troops in total were brought in, would slowly leave the DC in the coming days depending on the conditions.

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Although these troops were available to assist in controlling protests in DC, the official said they have yet to be utilised.

This decision comes after Defence Secretary Mark Esper told reporters he only supported the use of the Insurrection Act ”in the most urgent and dire of situations.”

“We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Mr Esper said.

The Insurrection Act empowers the president to deploy the US military and federalise the National Guard under specific circumstances, such as suppressing civil disorder or disobedience.

The White House said Donald Trump was still considering the prospect of military deployment under the Insurrection Act if he thought it was necessary.

“If needed, he will use it, but at this time he is relying on surging the streets with National Guard,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Wednesday.

Mr Trump has largely focused on being a “law and order” president in recent days to control the protests that have erupted across the country.

“If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Mr Trump said during his Rose Garden address on Monday.

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