Donald Trump said Sunday he had requested 10,000 National Guard troops deployed to Washington DC before January 6, after realizing his rally would be bigger than expected – but the request was approved by the leaders of Congress declined.
In his most recent defense, the former president told Fox News late Sunday night that he was not watching events in real time, claiming he reacted immediately when he was made aware of the ongoing attack on the Capitol.
His claim comes after his expected return to the political scene on Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he delivered a 90-minute keynote address to a crowd of distinguished supporters.
Trump insisted that he wanted the National Guard to be deployed to the nation’s capital on readiness, and told Steve Hilton, the host of Fox ‘The Next Revolution’ that he felt the message was being sent to the leaders of Congress , including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The former president said his understanding was that the request for troops was denied because the leaders of Congress did not like the look of 10,000 troops in the Capitol.
“You know, that was a big mistake,” he said.
Donald Trump told Fox on Sunday that he had requested 10,000 National Guard troops to be drafted ahead of his January 6 rally – but this was denied because the leaders of Congress did not like the “look” of the troops in the Capitol
After the Capitol Rebellion, approximately 26,000 National Guard troops were deployed to Washington DC from across the country. To date there are several thousand in the city
Last month, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox host Maria Bartiromo that Trump had issued a “direct order” to have up to 10,000 soldiers ready before his January 6 rally.
Washington finally drafted the National Guard following the siege of the Capitol by thousands of pro-Trump rioters on the day Congress approved the election for Joe Biden. There is still confusion on the timeline and why it wasn’t provided earlier.
In the days following the uprising, the city filled with approximately 26,000 National Guardsmen and women from across the country. They all stayed in Washington until January 20 when Biden was initiated.
While thousands were withdrawn from Washington and returned to their home states after inauguration, a few thousand remained in DC as leaders warned of ongoing threats during the impeachment process against Donald Trump.
Around 5,000 National Guard troops currently remain in DC – and are expected to be present by mid-March. There is also a barbed wire security fence that surrounds the entire Capitol Hill complex.
Trump told Hilton that he “hated” to see the uprising, but compared it to massive riots, including Black Lives Matter demonstrations, in cities like Portland and Seattle.
“I hate to see any of this, but it’s a double standard,” he said.
The January 6 attack on the Capitol remains a mystery, including why the National Guard was not deployed to the field earlier than the uprising unfolded.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and House NCO Paul Irving couldn’t agree on when the request for National Guard assistance would be sent.
Sund told a bipartisan Senate panel last week that he submitted the request at 1:09 p.m. on January 6th. Irving, on the other hand, claims he didn’t receive the request until after 2 p.m. this day.
The ex-chief of police said he spoke to Irving and then Senate Sergeant Michael Stenger about the National Guard request days before the uprising. Sunday claims Irving admitted he was concerned about the “optics” of disembarking thousands of troops on the Capitol.
But Irving said the report was “categorically wrong”.
Trump didn’t say much about the Jan. 6 insurrection, and for the most part stayed away from the topic on his big return to the spotlight on Sunday.
The former president’s speech marked the first time since his farewell speech to Air Force One on Jan. 20 that he raised his support.
He used his remarks to track down Republicans who reprimanded him for attacking Joe Biden’s policies, promising not to form his own political party, and teasing a run for the White House in 2024.