The Washington Post obtained memos revealing why there were not troops positioned to protect the U.S. Capitol from Wednesday’s violent insurrection by Trump supporters.
“The Pentagon placed tight limits on the D.C. National Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests this week, trying to ensure the use of military force remained constrained, as the Guard carried out a narrow, unarmed mission requested by the city’s mayor to help handle traffic ahead of planned protests,” the newspaper reported. “In memos issued Monday and Tuesday in response to a request from the D.C. mayor, the Pentagon prohibited the District’s guardsmen from receiving ammunition or riot gear, interacting with protesters unless necessary for self-defense, sharing equipment with local law enforcement, or using Guard surveillance and air assets without the defense secretary’s explicit sign-off, according to officials familiar with the orders. The limits were established because the Guard hadn’t been asked to assist with crowd or riot control.”
“Then the mission abruptly changed — and the Pentagon is now facing criticism from governors and local officials who say it moved too slowly to send National Guard troops to respond, a charge that its leaders denied Thursday,” The Post noted. “In the roughly three hours it took the Pentagon to make the shift from traffic policing to full-fledged riot response, the Capitol Police found themselves overwhelmed and rioters stormed the building, forcing lawmakers to take cover and barricade themselves in their offices. The Pentagon left it to federal law enforcement to clear the Capitol of the rioters, amid the hesitancy about sending Guard units into the building itself. By the evening, Guard units helped the Capitol Police and federal and city law enforcement reestablish a perimeter around the building.”
Read the full report.
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‘He Wanted People to Be Killed’: Morning Joe Pinpoints Damning Evidence Against Trump in Capitol Riot
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough pointed to a key piece of evidence against President Donald Trump in the violent siege against the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
The “Morning Joe” host said the president’s lack of concern for Vice President Mike Pence’s safety was particularly damning, especially when he had incited anger against his running mate for signaling that he would not try to overturn their election loss when Congress certified the electoral votes.
“They were going around screaming, ‘Hang the vice president,'” Scarborough said. “Donald Trump was the one inciting them against the United States. Even though Mike Pence, his wife, and his children were trapped in the Capitol building while the rioters were going around screaming for Mike Pence’s head, Trump never called him, never checked on him — never did anything to try to protect Mike Pence and his family.”
“That shows you again the state of this guy’s mind while the rioting was going on,” Scarborough added. “He wanted people to be hurt, and he wanted people to be killed. I don’t know what other conclusion you draw for that when he knows, he incites people against the vice president. He’s gleeful at the violence he sees on the TV according to Mike Pence and others around Donald Trump at the time. He knew his vice president’s life was in danger, and he did nothing about it.”
Arrested: Man Who Allegedly Hurled Fire Extinguisher at Cop During Pro-Trump Capitol Coup
A 55-year-old from Chester, Pennsylvania, who was caught on video hurling a fire extinguisher at police during the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has been arrested, the Daily Beast reports.
Robert Sanford, who is a retired firefighter, faces three felony charges, including assaulting a police officer. He was arrested in Pennsylvania Thursday morning.
The video shows rioters engaging in a confrontation with a gaggle of police before Sanford hurls the fire extinguisher, striking an officer in the head.
NEW: Retired Chester, Pa firefighter identified at Robert Sanford now faces federal charges after reportedly throwing a fire extinguisher at police during U.S. Capitol siege.
— George Solis (@GeorgeSolis) January 14, 2021
Sanford reportedly told to a friend that he was the person seen on photos. His friend then tipped off the feds and said Sanford had traveled to D.C. by bus with a group of people, according to the Daily Beast.
The assault is separate from the attack on Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, who reportedly died after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.
In a statement, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland said that while “the First Amendment of our Constitution outlines the right to free speech and to peaceful assembly, the actions of the rioters in D.C. last week hinged on characteristics of domestic terrorism.”
“As such, if any person, be it current or former employee or resident, is confirmed to have participated in last week’s event at the Capitol, then we hope our legal system will work according to its purpose and bring them to justice,” he added.
Trump Slammed for Issuing ‘Insincere, Very Belated’ Statement Against Violence – and for All the Things It Didn’t Say
President Donald Trump Wednesday afternoon issued a very short statement against any violence barely one hour before the House of Representatives will vote to impeach him, for a second time. But he was immediately criticized for what he did not say in his remarks.
“He does not tell the militias and other armed protestors not to come to DC,” tweeted former Special Counsel to the Dept. of Defense Ryan Goodman. “He does not do anything to counteract The Big Lie (that the election was stolen) which remains the key mobilizing myth that’s propelling the political violence.”
“If the man had any interest at all in easing tensions and calming tempers,” tweeted Will Wilkinson, a contributing NY Times opinion writer and a think tank VP, “he’d hold a televised press conference conceding the election, communicating that there was no evidence of fraud, that Biden will legitimately take office on the 20th, and there’s no reason to protest it.”
There's nothing in the least complicated about this. Anybody who tries to shift the focus to anything but the fact that the president has been lying for two months about unambiguous election results, which led to a violent mob trashing the Capitol, is actively stoking division.
— Will Wilkinson ? (@willwilkinson) January 13, 2021
But it was historian Michael Beschloss who truly excoriated President Trump:
If that anodyne, insincere, very belated anti-violence statement is the best Trump can do to stave off impeachment and conviction, he is in more trouble than he thinks.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 13, 2021
We can presume that Trump didn’t write that anti-violence statement just issued in his name — question is whether he's actually read it.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 13, 2021
There will be Trump supporters who will interpret this statement as first and foremost a call for more demonstrations. https://t.co/jUaX53Kayt
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) January 13, 2021
Under pressure, Trump just released a statement to Fox News calling for no more violence.
This is unacceptable.
If he really wanted to stop the threat of violence, he would tell his supporters to call off the protests and accept Joe Biden as president. https://t.co/vDw9LgLPCL
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 13, 2021
Trump's statement that calls "on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers" is 273 characters.
A tweet is limited to 280 characters. pic.twitter.com/RDqUbMgiIQ
— Chris Cioffi (@ReporterCioffi) January 13, 2021
The new statement from Trump telling "ALL Americans" to "calm tempers" is pretty empty considering he was threatening Biden in a speech YESTERDAY. https://t.co/bAYGKV2QMc
— Kaili Joy Gray (@KailiJoy) January 13, 2021
Trump campaign just texted out the president’s statement calling for “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” before, during and after Biden’s inauguration
It had no fundraising link and was the first text they’d sent out (by my count) since the Capitol riot pic.twitter.com/XptBXBdRZG
— Christian Datoc (@TocRadio) January 13, 2021
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