Trump to sign executive order to punish people who destroy or deface monuments – live

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3.32pm BST

Trump referred to the protesters who tried to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue near the White House as “vandals” and “hoodlums” who don’t love America.

“We are looking at long term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and these anarchists and agitators,” the president told reporters shortly before leaving for Arizona.

3.18pm BST

A Reuters reporter noted Trump’s expected executive order on monuments would likely be meaningless because it is already a federal crime to deface federal property:

This is silly. It's already a federal crime to deface or steal federal property, and an executive order can't make it any more of a crime. The government can arrest people for it whenever it can show probable cause that they have broken the law, and he can't change that, either.

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