Department of Defense officials said Wednesday the National Guard was sent into Washington, D.C., by Vice President Mike Pence, not President Donald Trump, according to the New York Times (NYT).
The National Guard was deployed late in the afternoon after a mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol Building, destroying property and shutting down congressional proceedings. Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller released a statement that cited discussions with Vice President Mike Pence and congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. The statement made no mention of Trump.
Following Miller’s statement, the NYT reported it was in fact Pence, not Trump, who authorized the deployment of the force.
“Chairman Milley and I just spoke separately with the Vice President and with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Senator Schumer and Representative Hoyer about the situation,” Miller’s statement read. “We have fully activated the D.C. National Guard.”
NEW: Acting SecDef Christopher Miller statement on activation of DC Nat’l Guard. Says he and Joint Chiefs Chairman spoke with Pence and congressional leaders re: situation at Capitol. No mention of Trump. Ends statement noting military’s oath to Constitution (via @EllenEMitchell) pic.twitter.com/QQeQsDssSX
— John Kruzel (@johnkruzel) January 6, 2021
It was reported earlier Wednesday that the Defense Department denied a request from local officials for assistance from the National Guard to contain the mob as it swarmed the Capitol. Now, the National Guard has been deployed “fully” to the situation. (RELATED: ‘Pipe Bomb Reported’: Hill Staff Evacuates As Pro-Trump Mob Storms Capitol Building)