Pence Took Charge After Trump Refused To Send Nation Guard To U.S. Capitol During Riot
Vice President Mike Pence made the decision to call in the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol, as violence started to escalate on Wednesday. Pence coordinated with the Pentagon about deploying the Guard, urging them to move faster than they were.
The attack on the Capitol was the country’s first legislature overrun since the British attacked and burned the building in August 1814.
Donald Trump, who has proven to be eager to deploy the National Guard when violence broke out during anti-racism protests last summer, initially resisted doing so on Capitol Hill.
Public statements by acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and other top officials suggested it was Pence who ultimately approved the decision to send the National Guard. Miller’s statement Wednesday seems to indicate he did not even speak with Trump, discussing the matter with his deputy instead.
Miller also confirmed that he and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke with Pence, not Trump, on Wednesday afternoon.
“We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard to assist federal and local law enforcement as they work to peacefully address the situation,” Miller said. “We are prepared to provide additional support as necessary and appropriate as requested by local authorities. Our people are sworn to defend the constitution and our democratic form of government and they will act accordingly.”
Kash Patel, MiIler’s chief of staff, said that Trump and acting secretary of defense spoke “multiple times this week about the request for National Guard personnel in D.C.,” but did not specify if they were in contact on Wednesday as the situation at the Capitol was in crisis.
“During these conversations, the President conveyed to the Acting Secretary that he should take any necessary steps to support civilian law enforcement requests in securing the Capitol and federal buildings,” Patel added.
Chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said that earlier in the week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser “requested approximately 340 D.C. National Guardsmen to assist D.C. police in preparation for possible protests today.”
“That request was approved. Today, the mayor requested the full activation of the D.C. Guard to support local and federal law enforcement as they respond to the situation at the Capitol. That request was approved. There have been no other requests from the D.C. government,” he said.
In a tweet on Wednesday night, Pence wrote, “Thank you to the incredible Capitol Hill Police Officers and every Law Enforcement Officer for keeping us safe today. Thanks to your service, the Capitol was secured and we are truly grateful.”
Thank you to the incredible Capitol Hill Police Officers and every Law Enforcement Officer for keeping us safe today. Thanks to your service, the Capitol was secured and we are truly grateful. pic.twitter.com/urDMpQBB7n
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 7, 2021