Earlier on Monday, Trump spoke to the governors of states, and he stated that he believed many of them had failed on a statewide level to protect their citizens. He said he ordered them to "dominate the streets" with the National Guard, and to have an "overwhelming" law enforcement presence to prevent further violence.
"We are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now," said Trump.
Appearing to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807, the president said that if governors refused to activate their National Guard units, he would "deploy the US military and quickly solve the problem for them."
The last time the Insurrection Act was invoked was during the Los Angeles riots in 1992.
The president faced criticism, and a conflict with Twitter, last week for a May 29 tweet that again suggested the possibility of military action, and said "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
Trump later said his tweet was not intended as a threat against protestors or rioters.
On Monday, Trump cited various acts of violence and vandalism that have occurred during the protests and riots, including the desecration of war memorials, beatings of people, the shooting death of a law enforcement officer in California, and the attempted arson of St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. A fire was set in the basement of the church, which has been attended by every U.S. president.
Some protestors across the country have said that while violence and looting is unacceptable, some peaceful protests have turned violent only when police have fired tear gas or non-lethal projectiles at demonstrators. Trump's speech did not addess that charge.
"These are not acts of peaceful protests. These are acts of domestic terror," Trump said.
"America needs creation not destruction; cooperation not contempt; security, not anarchy. Healing, not hatred. Justice, not chaos. This is our mission, and we will succeed 100%," said Trump. "We will succeed. Our country always wins."
Following the speech, the president walked from the Rose Garden to St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo with members of his cabinet. The president did not enter the church, but returned to the White House after the photograph.