The president said Friday he signed a “very strong” executive order, which carries a number of repercussions for not only individuals who deface or vandalize public property – but also for the cities and states in which they reside.
The government will withhold state and local funds tied to public spaces over failures to protect memorials, statues and other monuments. The administration is also willing to withdraw federal grants for jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies that allow the desecration of these public landmarks.
Individuals who desecrate or vandalize government property face “long prison terms,” according to Trump.
As part of the racial justice movement following George Floyd’s death, individuals have called for certain statues and other monuments to be removed. In some areas, groups have taken matters into their own hands, vandalizing or defacing statues of individuals with controversial histories, like Confederate soldiers and colonizers.
In Boston, for example, a statue of Christopher Columbus was beheaded.
In the order, Trump pledged assistance to help state and local governments protect federal statues and monuments during protests.
Fox News' John Roberts contributed to this report.