The Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller in a statement said that there is “no intelligence indicating an insider threat” from the National Guard after reports and at least one Democrat lawmaker suggested that National Guard members charged with Inauguration security could pose such a threat, Breitbart reports.
Miller clarified that vetting National Guard members is a usual measure before any significant event and called it ‘normal’ but also ‘unique’. He also said that he appreciated the “support of the FBI” in assisting the entire task involving thousands of Guardsmen.
He said in his statement:
As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C. While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital.
He did, however, acknowledge that the scope of military participation was unique. Federal authorities requested approximately 25,000 National Guardsmen to help secure the inauguration. He added:
However, in this case the scope of military participation is unique. The D.C. National Guard is also providing additional training to service members as they arrive in D.C. that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command. We appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their Nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the [National Capitol Region].
Democratic congressman Steve Cohen suggested on Monday that Trump supporters within the National Guard who have been charged with protecting Joe Biden ‘might want to do something’ to the new president. Cohen went on to say The National Guard is predominantly male and white, and wrongly claimed that only 25 percent of white men voted for Biden.
Shortly after the breach, the government was seeking 6,000 to 8,000 National Guard troops for the inauguration. The number of troops quickly grew to a staggering 20,000 by the end of last week. On Monday, multiple reports put the personnel level at 25,000.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott who sent more than 1,000 Texas National Guardsman to D.C. to assist with security, said he’s not at all happy with what he sees as disrespect for the men and women in uniform.
In a Tweet posted Monday, Abbott called the move to vet troops “offensive.”
“This is the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard,” Abbott said. “No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard.”
Abbot vowed that Texas troops would just have to sit it out the next time they’re needed for such an event, if their loyalty is called into question.
“I’ll never do it again if they are disrespected like this,” the governor said.