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Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy held direct crisis talks with Pentagon chief over security fiasco amid claims National Guard were prohibited from getting ammo and riot gear

 A series of missteps unfolded to leave the Capitol unprotected from a mob of pro-Trump rioters Wednesday – with congressional leaders directly intervening with calls to governors and Capitol Police seeking reinforcements that were slow to come.

The Mayor of Washington, D.C. had activated National Guard ahead of Wednesday's events, which had been forecast on social media and with President Trump urging his followers to attend through tweets.

But once his followers breached the Capitol after Trump urged them to 'fight' for his false claim that he won the election, chaos ensued – with insufficient planning, a tangle of jurisdictions and chain of command issues, and officials failing to act. 

On Thursday night following the turmoil, the top four congressional leaders – Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Charles Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy – spoke with acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley about the chaotic response.  

Immediately available Guard forces weren't armed – and delays in activating forces prevented an immediate infusion of forces that might have stopped rioters who ran wild inside the building. 

National Guard troops march past the Dirksen Senate Office Building on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Thursday, January 7, 2021, following the riot at the Capitol the day before. It took precious time to get reinforcements for overrun Capitol Police on Wednesday

National Guard troops march past the Dirksen Senate Office Building on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Thursday, January 7, 2021, following the riot at the Capitol the day before. It took precious time to get reinforcements for overrun Capitol Police on Wednesday

The Capitol Police, a 2,000-strong force that protects Capitol grounds, had not requested outside help before the start of Wednesday's incursion.

After it happened, police chief Steven Sund asked for 200 troops. 

The Army oversees the guard in D.C., due to its special jurisdiction as a federal city, not a state. 

Sund got asked if he wanted Guard help on a call and 'there was a pause,' a Washington, D.C. official told the Washington Post. He responded yes. ' 

'Then there was another pause, and an official from the [office of the] secretary of the Army said that wasn't going to be possible.'

The Army official, on behalf of the Secretary of the Army, cited the 'optics' of armed troops marching through the U.S. Capitol. 

Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy is charged with responding to D.C.'s request to activate National Guard due to its special jurisdictional status

Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy is charged with responding to D.C.'s request to activate National Guard due to its special jurisdictional status 

National Guard troops clear a street from protestors outside the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC after the mayor imposed a curfew. There were problems activating Guard and getting them in proper gear in a timely manner

National Guard troops clear a street from protestors outside the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC after the mayor imposed a curfew. There were problems activating Guard and getting them in proper gear in a timely manner

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, gets his first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by HN Samantha Alvarez at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on December 14, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. He assumed his post after the resignation of Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, gets his first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by HN Samantha Alvarez at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on December 14, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. He assumed his post after the resignation of Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Supporters of President Trump who are trying to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election clash with police as the crowd storms up the west side steps of the US Capitol during the session where members of Congress certify the election

Supporters of President Trump who are trying to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election clash with police as the crowd storms up the west side steps of the US Capitol during the session where members of Congress certify the election

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told the paper 'There was some concern from the Army of what it would look like to have armed military personnel on the grounds of the Capitol.'

There were other struggles to get backup for overwhelmed Capitol Police. 

House House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland dialed his state's Gov. Larry Hogan, while Hoyer was with congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

'I was actually on the phone with Leader Hoyer, who was pleading with us to send the guard,' said Hogan. 'He was yelling across the room to Schumer and they were back and forth saying we do have the authorization, and I'm saying, 'I'm telling you we do not have the authorization.' 

He said the adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard got turned down by the Pentagon. 'The general . . . kept running it up the flagpole, and we don't have authorization,' he told the Post. 

Pelosi calls on Capitol Hill Police Chief to resign after riot
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Sen. Mitch McConnell
Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The Big Four congressional leaders spoke to acting Defense Sec. Christopher Miller Thursday following the fiasco at the Capitol

An hour and a half after his conversation with Hoyer, Hogan got a call from Army Secretary McCarthy, who asked if he could dispatch Guard and have them 'come as soon as possible.'  

'It was like, yeah, we’re waiting, we’re ready,' he responded. 

Hogan told the Baltimore Sun the leaders were 'pleading' with him to activate Guard forces to assist.

But he said DOD officials repeatedly turned down his requests to send help over 90 minutes until he got a call from the Army Secretary. 

'Yesterday was a horrible and shameful day here in the capital, and the nation at large,' Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said on a press call Thursday, according to a Pentagon write-up. "The District of Columbia asked the Army for help, and our National Guard responded." When the events began, that included 340 Guard who were not armed and were on traffic-type duty.

The confusion over the deployment follows a Pentagon purge and post-election staff changes that had Secretary of Defense Mike Esper resign and a group of Trump loyalists move in to key positions. The Acting Secretary of Defense is Christopher Miller following Esper's resignation. 

Millery authorized the deployment, and had talks Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence as the crisis unfolded. He had the authority to activate the Guard, but Pence himself is not in the chain of command – with the president at the top. The delays follow complaints about aggressive use of federal assets during peaceful protests near the White House over the summer.

Meanwhile, Pelosi was seeking assistance from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and D.C. was seeking help form neighboring Virginia. 

Rushing additional forces prepared for a riot situation on a tight timeline proved problematic.

Amid the jurisdictional confusion, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy got into a 'screaming match' with President Trump over his pleadings the president forcefully tell his supporters to stop rampaging through the Capitol, Punchbowl reported. 

Even with Guard troops stationed around to D.C., getting them to the Capitol with riot gear protection and arms was another matter.

When Mayor Bowser requested additional support once the Capitol was overrun, it took an hour for Army Secretary approval, Military Times reported. 

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted at 3:36 p.m.that Trump had directed the activation of more troops – but by that point his supporters had been roaming around the Capitol and engaging in acts of vandalism and repeated clashes with police.

Once activated, Guard had to travel to the D.C. Armory to get protective gear. Memos issued early this week stated that Guard were prohibited from carrying ammo or riot gear, 

2 comments:

  1. Breaking News! The same people in charge of security at the Capitol, were in charge on 911 security at both airports and the Pentagon...AND Ambassador Steven's security. They were also in charge of the security at Murray Building in Oklahoma. They were also in charge of security during the Boston Bombing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Was there a number limitation Which had been broken,
    Who was I charge of getting troops? Why so disorganized.
    .
    *Video’s plainly show Capital police waving Antifa/BLM/ Vikings groups in and
    Later walking them upstairs to second floor*
    (.Democrats fund these organizations) ( we know).
    It has been fine for them To Riot all over our country,
    There is something stinky here..They were brought in to mix w/ Christian group.
    Now they want Trump impeached,
    The American voter is disgusted.,Especially w/ unhinged Pelosi,

    ReplyDelete