Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday stood by his decision to order the state guard to monitor the U.S. military amid fears from conspiracy theorists that an upcoming training exercise is really an attempt to take over the state, the Texas Tribune reported.
Abbott, who last week issued a letter to the Texas State Guard ordering it to oversee the U.S. military training operation known as “Jade Helm 15,” said his decision was an attempt to function as a “communication facilitator” between the military and Texans concerned about the program.
Jade Helm 15 has been described by the military as a “standard training exercise”; however, conspiracy theorists have said the operation may be an attempt by the federal government to stage a military takeover of Texas.
Abbott told the Tribune his actions were “simple and non-inflammatory” and shouldn’t be misconstrued.
“I frankly think that there was an overreaction to the simple fact that someone has to be in charge of gathering and disseminating information and we stepped in to play that role, which is a role to be applauded,” Abbott told the Tribune.
Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at email@example.com.