President Donald Trump wanted to deploy 10,000 military troops to suppress the George Floyd protests at a heated Oval Office meeting last Monday. Pentagon leaders declined his orders.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Attorney General Bill Barr, and Chairman of the Joint of Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley declined Trump’s request, a Pentagon senior official anonymously told ABC News.

Although Esper moved 1,600 military troops to Washington, D.C, with the 5,000 National Guard troops already in the region, the troops were never deployed and departed back on Thursday night.

After the meeting, Trump called the governors “weak jerks” during a phone call and urged them to “dominate the streets.” At a Rose Garden speech, Trump said he was deploying “thousands and thousands of troops” to the capital. Trump then walked to St. John ‘s Church for a Bible photo-op, with the peaceful demonstrators, after clearing Lafayette Square with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Alyssa Farah, White House spokesperson, said Trump during the Monday morning meeting did not ask to deploy active military force but wanted to surge the National Guard.

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