President Donald Trump pledged Wednesday to sign an executive order to protect statues of Jesus Christ and the Founding Fathers from being vandalized or destroyed by protesters. Trump claims the measure is needed because racial justice protesters might attempt to attack statues and monuments of men they deem racist.

On Wednesday, the president commented on his order –– which calls on federal police to arrest anyone who tries to deface a statue on federal property and makes it a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison –– during a news conference at the White House with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Trump cited the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act, which states that any person who either willfully attempts to or successfully injures or destroys a memorial that commemorates “the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the U.S.” may be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

During the news conference, Trump noted concern that the protesters might even go after statues of Jesus.


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“Now they are looking at Jesus Christ, they are looking at George WashingtonThomas Jefferson … Not going to happen, not going to happen,” Trump said.

Trump also remarked that the protesters are unsure of the meaning of the targeted statues.

“I think many of the people that are knocking down the statues don’t even have any idea what the statute is, what it means, who it is when they knocked it down,” Trump said

The order comes after racial justice protesters tried to knock down a statue of the seventh U.S. President Andrew Jackson on Monday in Lafayette Park, a public park located next to the White House.

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