Joe Biden said on Saturday he would never use the military “as a shield or private militia” as president and accused President Donald Trump of using US forces to settle “personal vendettas” and abuse the rights of civilians. In a virtual address to the general conference of the United States National Guard Organization, the Democratic presidential candidate said Trump suggested “that you should be mobilized to quote, ‘dominate,’ your fellow citizens for expressing their right to demonstrate peacefully.”
In addressing the conference, Biden did not repeat the statement but vowed to restore the distinction between civilian and military forces which he called “the cornerstone principle of our republic.” “It’s been tested lately, but I promise you, as president, I’ll never put you in the middle of politics or personal vendettas,” the former vice president. “I’ll never use the military as a prop or as a private militia to violate rights of fellow citizens. That’s not law and order.”
Trump also announced this week that federal troops were being sent to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where protests erupted after Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, shot by police last weekend. Biden said that he was considering traveling to Wisconsin in an effort to ease the situation, but only if it could be done “safely” and without “on the ground” inflammation.