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President Trump signs order, vowing to punish those who damage statues, monuments

Green Bay's mayor asks for a message of tolerance ahead of President Trump's visit

Trump added that an "unhinged left-wing mob" is attempting "to vandalize our history ... tear down our statues, and punish, cancel, and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control".

Americans need to join President Trump in calling for protection of the nation's historical monuments, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Saturday.

The Associated Press on Thursday reported the Trump administration and a workforce committee led by Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser to the president, plan to release an executive order that would prioritize skills over college degrees in hiring by the federal government, which employs 2.1 million people.

Trump announced the "very strong" order in a tweet on Friday, stating it would protect "monuments, memorials and statues", as well as combat "recent criminal violence", promising "long prison terms for these lawless acts".

Trump's executive order calls for "limiting federal grants for jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies that permit the desecration of monuments, memorials, or statues".

"I was going to go to Bedminster, New Jersey, this weekend, but wanted to stay in Washington, DC to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced".

"Most of these monuments were placed with acts of Congress, with deliberation, with careful thought placed in them by artists and great commemorations to establish them", Bernhardt said on Fox News Saturday.

"Individuals and organizations have the right to peacefully advocate for either the removal or the construction of any monument".

His announcement came after a group of protesters tried to tear down the statue of former President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner, near the White House.

In the weeks following the death of George Floyd, a black man, under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, nationwide protests took over city streets amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bernhardt said that National Park Service is required by law to "conserve these monuments for future generations".

Trump told reporters Tuesday that he is looking to have stiff penalties for acts of vandalism against federal monuments.

"This will expand career opportunities for more Americans, acknowledge that learning can happen outside of the classroom, and ensure federal hiring managers are better identifying job candidates with the specific skills needed to succeed on the job", the official said.