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Fmr NATO Commander Slams Clearing of Protesters Outside White House: Protests ‘Not a Battlespace to Be Dominated’

Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, added his voice to the chorus of former top military figures speaking out in the past few days President Donald Trump and the clearing of protesters outside the White House prior to his photo op.

Stavridis told Chuck Todd, “This is a moment when I think many of us watched the use of active-duty military to clear peaceful protesters out of Lafayette Square, and it rang echoes of what the Founders feared more than anything, which was the use of armed active-duty military against citizens, and they built safeguards in, including the First Amendment.”

Over on CNN Sunday morning, Colin Powell blasted Trump and said he has concerns about the U.S. losing moral authority. Todd asked Stavridis about that same issue, and he said he has serious concerns about the U.S.’ moral standing in the world.

Stavridis also said he was encouraged to see Esper publicly pushing back on the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act.

When Todd asked if he’s concerned about morale at the Pentagon, Stavridis said he is:

“In this country, we have about a million police officers. We have about 500,000 National Guard who are citizen soldiers who operate under authority of governors. My view, that’s plenty of people who can do the policing function and their real role is to protect the peaceful demonstrators. This is not a battlespace to be dominated, these are zones of protests to be protected. There are sufficient forces to do that, and I think the military’s very concerned about getting pulled into the maelstrom of politics in an election year in order to push protesters as they were at Lafayette Square. That was wrong.”

You can watch above, via NBC.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac