Posted 33 days ago
The Utah National Guard confirmed Friday that 200 service members are being kicked out of hotels in the nation's capital as D. C. Mayor Muriel Bowser clashes with President Trump over the handling of the George Floyd protests in the city.
Bowser, who wants all non-D. C. troops out of the city, blamed the National Guard relocation on a budget issue and said the city will not pay for the accommodations — amid days of protests over racial injustice, some of which have been violent.
"Last night, we were informed that our service members would be relocated from their hotel rooms," the Utah National Guard said in a statement Friday.
Maj. Jaime Thomas told Fox News they identified another hotel and will relocate Friday.
"It has been heartbreaking for our Utah National Guard service members to witness the pain, suffering, and frustration in our communities across the nation," the National Guard added. "The Utah National Guard has been supporting civil authorities with our top priority of protecting lives as well as preserving property and critical infrastructure in our nation's capital."
The District of Columbia's National Guard said it is working to resolve the matter after hundreds of soldiers had been staying at a Marriott hotel near downtown Washington since being activated on Monday.
On Friday, Bowser said the removals were over a budget issue, saying D. C. residents would not cover the hotel bills. “This is overbilling,” she said.
Pressed on the matter, the mayor said they did not “evict anybody from a private hotel” but said the city will not pay for National Guard housing. She said they have no desire to see soldiers on the street but said the armory or the home state of the National Guard should pay for their arrangements. "If they are going to use rooms we reserved, they have to pay for them," she said.
"At no time did we intend or would we would be able to effect evicting any guardsman from any hotel," Bowser added.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah – who broke the news Thursday about the removals “Fox News @ Night" – has slammed Bowser as an "ungrateful mayor" over the situation.
Bowser said Friday she hasn't had a chance to talk to Lee.
In a new statement Friday afternoon, Lee said: “Evicting Utah National Guard personnel from their hotels after a late-night shift risking their li... (Read more)