Trump Bypassed In Decision To Deploy National Guard

Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol as tear gas fills the corridor on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2... Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol as tear gas fills the corridor on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 6, 2021 4:05 p.m.

The President has directed the National Guard to the Capitol Building after it was besieged by supporters of his, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday. 

Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller confirmed the move in a statement later on Wednesday.

Notably, Miller said he spoke about the move with top political leaders but not President Trump.

In the statement, Miller said that he and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had spoken with Vice President Mike Pence, Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Miller added that the full DC National Guard would be activated, and that the military was ready to provide additional resources as requested.

“Our people are sworn to defend the constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly,” Miller said.

The move came after conflicting reports over whether the Defense Department would allow the D.C. National Guard to be activated to respond to the breach of the legislature, and after Virginia committed its own National Guard troops to DC. 

Because the District of Columbia is not a state, it needs federal approval for a National Guard deployment. 

“Federal Protective Service and Secret Service have been requested to provide assistance to Capitol Hill Police. They are fulfilling that request,” a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told TPM. The Federal Protective Service, which is housed within DHS, is charged with securing federal buildings.

Amid the confusion, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) sent National Guard forces and state police to the nation’s capital. 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said on Twitter that he had ordered state troopers to help D.C. and Capitol police put down the mob, and had also requested the Maryland National Guard to “call up a rapid response force.” 

The decision to send in National Guard troops comes after confusion over whether the Trump administration had acceded to requests from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and congressional leadership to do just that. The Washington Post had earlier reported that the request was denied, as the mob broke windows and breached offices in the Capitol building.

That apparent initial denial was condemned by the D.C. city council in a statement.  

The chaos in D.C. occurred just minutes after Trump urged his supporters to march to the national legislature and pressure lawmakers to disregard the results of the 2020 election. He’s sought to pressure Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the results in an attempt to steal a second term. 

Trump has not spoken publicly since the mob attack on the Capitol began, despite requests from senior Republicans including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to do so. Instead, Trump has tweeted. 

 

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