President Donald Trump posted on Twitter that he had signed an Executive Order to protect monuments.
“I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence,” he wrote Friday.
“Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!”
It is not clear how the order is different from the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act as the text of the new act has not been released.
However, the President claimed that the new act shall “authorize the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison.”
Some advisers advocate for a much more forceful action against looting and property destruction, yet they concede that any effort to pacify the current situation would better serve the President without leaning on either side of the ongoing racial issues.
An outside adviser claims that the monuments executive order would be a “symbolic step” toward lift up the law and order message that others feel have been undermined as the administration fail to stop the destruction of controversial statues.
The signing of the new executive order comes after Trump teased that his administration has been preparing a major effort to protect national monuments, which he calls a part of the country’s heritage.
People familiar with the plan says the executive order includes assigning US Marshals to oversee them.
The President also personally instructed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to restore a statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike that torn down last week in Washington, DC.
“The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn,” Trump tweeted as he sees the the statue being burned and torn down on June 19.
National Park Service expressed their intention to “mitigate any damage to any statue, monument, and memorial damaged due to any criminal activity” when asked about the President’s request to restore the only Confederate statue in the area.