Donald Trump, the twice-impeached, one-term Republican president who lost the popular vote twice and the Electoral College once says he has but a single regret for his time as Commander in Chief: not deploying the U.S. Military to attack Black Lives Matter protestors during the summer of 2020 – an act that at the very least would have been met with massive resistance nationwide and some say would have violated the Constitution.
In a lengthy excerpt published at Vanity Fair from their new book, "I Alone Can Fix It," Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker focus on their hours-long interview with the former president at Mar-a-Lago, just 70 days after Joe Biden was sworn in as president.
“I think it would be hard if George Washington came back from the dead and he chose Abraham Lincoln as his vice president, I think it would have been very hard for them to beat me," Trump told the two Washington Post reporters.“
That was just one of the astonishing remarks Trump made during the interview – an interview he agreed to, knowingly, for the book.
"Over the years," Leonnig and Rucker write, "Trump rarely has expressed misgivings. But he regrets his response to protests last summer in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and other cities. 'I think if I had it to do again, I would have brought in the military immediately,' he said."
As it is, Amnesty International in August of 2020 says it "Recorded 125 Separate Incidents of Police Violence Against Protesters, Medics, Journalists and Legal Observers in 40 States and D.C. During May and June Protests."
Trump regrets not violating the civil rights of protestors even more.
In fact, as Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks wrote in The Washington Post in June of last year, "Past presidents used the Insurrection Act to protect civil rights — not to send troops to silence dissent."
"The last time the act was invoked over local objections," she noted at the time, "was when past presidents used it to send federal troops to enforce desegregation orders in the South during the civil rights era. Using it now to suppress protests about police racism would be a bitter inversion of the spirit of the law."
For Trump to have used the Insurrection Act in 2020 only to have incited an insurrection in 2021 would have been an irony too great to escape the history books.