Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader; Kevin McCarthy The House Minority Leader; and Marco Rubio are Republicans who have made extensive statements in support of the protests. On the other side of the corridor Nancy Pelosi the majority leader of the house; Chuck Schumer the leader of the Senate minority; and most Democratic presidential candidates have done the same.
Protesters initially protesting against a bill that allowed for deliveries to mainland China expanded their demands to include universal suffrage, an independent investigation into police action in the demonstrations, and amnesty for hundreds of arrested demonstrators. The protests were largely peaceful, but occasionally became violent, including a chaotic scene at the airport when protesters attacked two mainland Chinese men, including a journalist.
The police routinely used tear gas, pepper spray, and batons to disperse protesters. Hong Kong officials have defied an independent police tactics commission, some of which have been condemned by international groups such as the United Nations Human Rights Office, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The government believes that an investigation by a police guard is sufficient, but critics say the agency is staffed by government-related individuals.
Also, officials have signaled no willingness to submit to the demands of the demonstrators, which increased the fear that the impasse could lead to Beijing's bloody action in the Tiananmen style. Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the Chinese government had transferred troops to the Hong Kong border, and encouraged everyone to be "calm and safe."
A garrison of Chinese People's Liberation Army (SLA) soldiers is stationed in Hong Kong, but most observers believe it unlikely that Beijing would repress protests unless it would destroy territorial autonomy as a last resort and could have devastating economic repercussions to have.
In online forums popular with Hong Kong protesters, people largely welcomed the recent comments by Mr. Trump, but expressed concern that the United States would not take any major action. China has accused foreign countries, especially the US, of secretly standing behind the protest movement.
"Whenever there are major protests in Hong Kong, not only is Washington involved, but there are also many American organizations at the forefront actively supporting the demonstrators," said Zhao Kejin, an expert on international studies in Chinese Tsinghua University, during a briefing on Thursday organized by the government in Beijing. "This is the root of why Hong Kong has become chaotic."