“Trump versus retired military” is the theme of this morning’s Sunday shows, with an array of big names — but notably not James Mattis — set to speak up against using regular U.S. troops to quell rioting. Some well-known officers scheduled today have already made arguments against using the Insurrection Act in op-eds or interviews this week: Mike Mullen will chat with “Fox News Sunday,” James Stavridis will speak to “Meet the Press,” and Martin Dempsey will sit with “This Week” to discuss their opposition to inserting soldiers into a combustible political moment. One famous retiree who hasn’t spoken yet is Colin Powell, who’ll talk to “State of the Union” about Trump, the military, and the justness of the protesters’ cause. I’m guessing most Republicans won’t like what he has to say.
Another notable omission this morning is Tom Cotton, the chief proponent in Congress of invoking the Insurrection Act and the eye of the storm engulfing the New York Times op-ed page this week. Maybe he’ll be a late addition to some show. If not, it looks like Bill Barr will be tasked with defending Trump’s position: He’s the lead guest on “Face the Nation,” where he’ll be grilled about that sleazy operation against demonstrators in Lafayette Park on Monday before Trump’s church photo op. Barr insisted to the AP on Friday that he didn’t give the order for the Park Police to make a move on protesters. “[M]y attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it,'” he explained, unclearly. Margaret Brennan will try to tease something more coherent out of him.
Two black Republicans of note are also scheduled today to give their views of the protests. A current cabinet official, HUD director Ben Carson, will chat with “State of the Union.” A former cabinet official, Condoleezza Rice, will sit down with “Face the Nation” to elaborate on the views she shared in this op-ed a few days ago. Having two prominent Bush 43 alums on the air this morning siding with protesters and (likely) criticizing Trump should make for some extra zesty presidential tweeting later today. The full line-up is at the AP.