Photo by: White House photo.

June 11, 2020; CNN, “Politics”

Even as Trump was threatening the mayor of Seattle via Twitter yesterday, telling her to take her city back from domestic terrorists as she told him to go back to his bunker, General Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted that he made a mistake in appearing with the president in Lafayette Square, where peaceful protesters were attacked with rubber bullets and smoking cannisters by police in full riot gear.

“I should not have been there,” he said, explaining that his presence “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

It did not help, of course, that he was wearing his full combat uniform at the time.

“As senior leaders, everything you do will be closely watched,” Milley said in a speech to a group of graduates from the National Defense University. “And I am not immune.”

Reportedly, neither Milley nor Defense Secretary Mark Esper were aware of the decision to clear the square; instead, both had been brought to the White House to brief the president on the use of military force in cases of civil disturbances.

Meanwhile, the New York Times describes the allegedly “dangerous activity” going on in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

What has emerged is an experiment in life without the police—part street festival, part commune. Hundreds have gathered to hear speeches, poetry and music. On Tuesday night, dozens of people sat in the middle of an intersection to watch “13th,” the Ava DuVernay film about the criminal justice system’s impact on African-Americans. On Wednesday, children made chalk drawings in the street.

—Ruth McCambridge