PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Vice President Mike Pence says President Donald Trump will not hesitate to use the military in Pennsylvania if Gov. Tom Wolf and local mayors are unable to halt local riots and looting.
“We stand ready, as previous administrations have done, to deploy active-duty military personnel to quell the violence, to quell the looting,” Pence told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano on Tuesday in an exclusive interview.
Pence says he and President Trump are standing up for law and order even if state and local officials do not act.
“To see these rioters that are engaging in looting, to actually see the violence against these law enforcement officers that took place last night in New York and in Missouri, is absolutely inexcusable,” said Pence.
His advice to local and state officials: “The president and I will continue to urge the governors, like Governor Wolf, to call up the National Guard, deploy them to the streets and in a strong and decisive manner to restore order. The American people expect nothing less.”
Wolf says he has 120 National Guard members on standby in Pittsburgh, but they have not yet been requested or deployed here.
Delano: “In your view, Mr. Vice President, has Governor Wolf and the local mayors failed?”
Pence: “I’d leave that to people in the community to judge. We’re obviously tracking violent rioting and looting in major cities around the country. But I do know that Governor Wolf, as of yesterday morning, had only called up 500 or 600 of the National Guard.”
Pence says both he and the President have no problems with peaceful protests, and he condemns the killing of George Floyd.
Delano: “Have you considered taking a knee as others have done in solidarity with George Floyd?”
Vice President Pence deflected the question, so KDKA’s Jon Delano tried again.
Delano: “And would you take a knee in solidarity?”
Pence: “We stand with peaceful protesters, as the President said, all across this country.”
Watch the full interview with VP Pence at 9 p.m. on CBSN Pittsburgh.