Trump says he canceled the journey to New Jersey to make sure that regulation and order have been enforced in Washington, DC
U.S. President Donald Trump heads to the White House residence after leaving Marine One on South Lawn on June 25, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
President Donald Trump tweeted that he had abruptly canceled a planned trip to New Jersey on Friday to "ensure LAW & ORDER was enforced" in Washington, D.C.
Trump's late-afternoon Twitter post was the first time he or the White House had announced the sudden cancellation of his scheduled visit to his golf course in Bedminster, NJ, on Friday morning.
The White House had previously said that the cancellation had nothing to do with Governor Phil Murphy's new order that Garden State visitors be quarantined after being in states with increasing numbers of coronavirus cases.
"I wanted to go to Bedminster, New Jersey this weekend, but I wanted to stay in Washington, DC to make sure LAW & ORDER was enforced," Trump wrote in his Twitter post.
"The arsonists, anarchists, looters and agitators have largely been stopped. I am doing what is necessary to protect our communities – and these people will be brought to justice!"
The president soon tweeted that he had just signed "a very strong executive order to protect American monuments, monuments, and statues – and to combat recent criminal violence."
Trump's tweets came a day after sources told NBC News that Trump had personally called Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and asked parking officials to re-erect a statue of Albert Pike, a Confederate general, who was demolished and set on fire by protesters last week was stuck in a Washington Park.
On Monday, demonstrators tied ropes around President Andrew Jackson's statue in Lafayette Square, directly opposite the White House, but were sprayed with pepper spray by the police before they could overthrow the statue.
Law enforcement officials put barriers around the Emancipation Monument in the Capitol Hill area on Thursday to avoid possible damage from demonstrators. Some protesters have requested removal of the monument where President Abraham Lincoln is holding a copy of his declaration of emancipation while a black man kneels at Lincoln's feet.
There have been nationwide protests in the United States calling for police reform and removal of Confederate statues and other monuments that were considered uncomfortable after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd on Memorial Day.
Four police officers who have now been released have been arrested and charged with Floyd's death after one of them, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes during an arrest.
Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, told CNBC the previous Friday that his coronavirus quarantine order would not apply to Trump because "the President of the United States is by definition an essential worker."
Two days ago, a White House spokesman had said that despite Murphy's order, Trump was still planning to go to New Jersey, which reflects identical guidelines issued this week by Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, and Ned Lamont, governor of Connecticut, States with increasing cases of coronavirus were issued to visitors from several countries.
Trump traveled to Arizona for a church event on Tuesday. Arizona has an increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
"The President of the United States is not a civilian," White House spokesman Judd Deere said Wednesday when asked about Trump's planned trip to Murphy's order.
"Anyone who is nearby, including employees, guests and the press, will be tested on COVID-19 and verified as negative," Deere said.
"As for Arizona, the White House followed its COVID mitigation plan to ensure that the president did not contact anyone who was symptomatic or had not been tested."
"Anyone traveling this weekend to support the President will be monitored closely for symptoms and tested for COVID."
Murphy spoke during an interview in CNBC's "Squawk Box" about Trump's planned visit, which the governor said was not in conflict with his quarantine order.
"There is an outsourcing for key workers, and by any definition the President of the United States is a key worker, so the President is obviously welcome in New Jersey," said Murphy.
After the White House announced the abolition of Trumps, Murphy repeated this exception for the president and told reporters that "there is no private or public signal from us."
On Thursday, Trump visited Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, where he made a cheering crowd comments about a billion-dollar contract for the facility.
During this appearance, Trump repeated the claim that the number of coronavirus cases in the United States is increasing because they are being tested more extensively than in other countries.
"We have the largest testing program in the world. We have developed it over time. And we have up to 30 million tests," Trump said.
"That means we'll have more cases. If we didn't want to test, or if we didn't test, we wouldn't have cases. But we have cases because we test. Deaths are down. We have one of the lowest mortality rates."
More than 2.4 million Covid-19 cases and 124,468 deaths have been reported in the United States. The number of cases and deaths in the United States is 25% of the total number of cases and deaths worldwide.
– Additional reporting from CNBC's Tucker Higgins.