Utah National Guard heading home after Trump orders troops to withdraw from nation’s capital

(Photo courtesy of Utah National Guard) National Guard members from Utah clean graffiti in Washington, D.C.

Washington • After nearly a week deployed to the nation’s capital, Utah National Guard soldiers are headed home.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he’d ordered troops from several states — which had been supporting law enforcement in quelling protests in the nation’s capital — to withdraw from the District of Columbia now that the demonstrations have ebbed.

“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control,” Trump tweeted. “They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!”

Some 200 Utah soldiers had been deployed in the federal district after protests over racial injustice had at times turned violent and the president demanded a military response. The troops arrived early Tuesday morning and had been quartered in a hotel downtown before relocating to another place after the city said it wouldn’t foot the bill for soldiers it didn’t request.

The Utah National Guard soldiers — who had helped clean up graffiti as well as staff posts to protect the White House and other places in the city — were packing up Sunday, ready to head home.

“We're happy we're headed home to see our families,” said Utah National Guard Maj. Brent Mangum. “That means things are better.”

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people descended on Washington to protest police brutality, though it remained peaceful.