Former President Donald Trump has recently confirmed that he had asked for 10,000 of the National Guard to be deployed at the Capitol prior to the violent riot that took place in January. However, he also said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocked this due to the sheer number of troops requested.
President Trump Requested the National Guard Before the Capitol Attack. Pelosi Blocked the Request
This notion has been cited way back in late January, in a Vanity fair report. On Jan. 5, President Trump said that there need to be 10,000 troops in the Capitol. They needed additional help to ensure security in the area can handle the crowd.
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According to the report, the night before the Capitol siege, acting defense secretary Christopher Miller, along with his chief of staff, Kash Patel, were present in the White House. They were talking about an Iran-related matter with then-President Trump.
Eventually, however, their topic changed. As per Miller, Trump asked him about the number of troops the Pentagon was planning to deploy for the next day. To this, Miller responded that they plan to deploy the number of National Guard troops that the district asks for.
Miller Confirms Trump Asked for 10,000 National Guard Troops
According to Miller, when he said this, Trump reportedly stated that they would need 10,000 troops. The president also told him to do what they found necessary. However, Trump emphasized that they would need a large number of National Guard troops to ensure security.
On Sunday, the former president spoke in “The Next Revolution With Steve Hilton,” saying that he concerned about the size of the crowd in Washington a few days before his scheduled rally. He also confirmed to the news outlet that he requested the deployment of 10,000 National Guard troops in response.
However, the Pentagon has a set in place regarding the National Guard’s preparation and deployment for handling riots. Additionally, Trump mentioned that, based on what he understands, his request and warning were sent to Capitol leaders. This includes Speaker Pelosi, who rejected the request, likely due to a large number of troops asked for.
According to the Washington Post, however, Miller and other senior officials from the Pentagon did not relay the request for 10,000 troops to people outside the Department of Defense. The report added that the Pentagon did not act upon it because they thought they did not need a large number of troops. Instead, the Defense department only mentioned the “possible activation” of 340 troops. This personnel would only help the District government with dealing with traffic.
Additionally, Steven Sund, the former Capitol Police chief gave Congress a warning. He told them days before the siege that there is a high possibility of a riot happening. He has also requested the deployment of additional troops in the area. Although, Congress security officials kept on rejecting him.
Pelosi Delayed Approval for “Optics”
According to Sund, House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving felt more concerned about the “optics” or the image of what declaring an emergency may bring.
While it is said that the House Sergeant-at-Arms rejected the request, the Daily Caller claims that Irving is only covering to Speaker Pelosi. Sund’s request was only approved after he asked Congress six times. Pelosi gave the approval at 1:43 pm, 7 minutes before the Capitol breach.
Pelosi’s office approved the request way too late. Also, despite this approval, officials from D.C., the Army, and the Capitol still needed to discuss matters. Because of these factors, the National Guard only arrived at past 5 pm.