Fact checker called out Republican leaders Friday over newly resurrected claims that President Donald Trump was not responsible for a no-show by the National Guard during the Jan. 6 insurrection last year.
Trump has repeatedly blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for blocking some 10,000 members of the Guard that day. But Pelosi has no control or jurisdiction over the National Guard in the District of Columbia. Trump does.
Trump even boasted in a videotaped statement a day after the 2021 insurrection that he “immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building.
GOP leaders again on Thursday blamed Pelosi for blocking the Guard. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for some reason on Thursday instead blamed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was Senate minority leader during the insurrection.
As the violence raged for three hours throughout the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump watched the riot on television at the White House. He did not contact anyone to protect the building or the lawmakers trapped inside.
“Not only did President Trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, he placed no call to any element of the United States government to instruct that the Capitol be defended,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) revealed Thursday night during the first hearing of the Jan. 6 House select committee,
“He did not call his Secretary of Defense on Jan. 6. He did not talk to his Attorney General. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security,” Cheney added. “President Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day. And he made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets.”
Her statements were backed up by videotaped testimony aired at the hearing from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley. He said it was then-Vice President Mike Pence, who was under siege himself at the time, to demand that the National Guard be called out.
Pence told Pentagon leaders to “get the Guard down here, put down this situation,” Milley testified. The general said he later received a call from then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who told him to “kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions.”
Republicans have likely landed on the National Guard issue again because a complete lack of action by Trump for hours to protect the Capitol and lawmakers would appear to strengthen the case the Jan. 6 panel is building against him, claiming he was out to seize control of the election and remain in power,
Thousands of National Guard troops were eventually deployed to Capitol Hill to secure the area.