The National Guard will provide hundreds of unarmed service members to help local law enforcement protect monuments in the nation's capital.
A Defense Department spokesperson said Wednesday around 400 D.C. Guard members have been activated at the request of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The official said none of the troops have been sent to any monuments so far and are currently on standby at the D.C. Armory. The Guard members will help U.S. Park Police "prevent any defacing or destruction" of "key monuments" in the area, and act "as a uniformed deterrence" and in a "crowd management capacity."
Hundreds of protesters attempted to pull down a statue of former President Andrew Jackson near the White House Monday evening, but were thwarted after police intervened. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would issue an executive order to "reinforce" federal criminal penalties against those who damage historical monuments.