Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said Tuesday that the National Guard troops stationed in the Capitol need to go “home” because there’s no reason for them to stay.
“It is time to send the troops home,” Cotton told “Fox & Friends.”
“There are too many troops left in Washington. I’m not aware of any, any threat to justify continued presence today around the Capitol, much less into the Fall. I think [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi will have a lot of questions to answer about what she knew leading up to the riot on Jan. 6.,” Cotton continued. “There was a clear failure by the security leaders on Capitol Hill to prepare for Jan. 6.”
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell said Sunday that Pelosi may have missed vital security briefings in the days leading up to the Capitol riot. He told “Sunday Morning Futures” that staffers in Washington, D.C. can be “incredibly powerful” and are often “doing the heavy lifting” without telling the politicians for whom they work anything but “a couple of priorities.” (RELATED: Rep. Zeldin Says Democratic Election Plan Is To Call Republicans ‘White Supremacists, Extremist, Nazis’ Every Two Years)
Cotton said Tuesday that the Capitol police “performed bravely” during the riot but that provide a justification to “turn the Capitol into an armed fortress or camp for thousands of soldiers.”
Instead, the senator urged the federal government leadership to “use common sense and assess the threats that we face and respond accordingly.” He noted that the “big anti-riot fence with razor wire around the Capitol” appeared quickly after the Capitol riot and should just as quickly come down.
“If for instance Joe Biden comes to the Capitol and gives a joint session speech in next few weeks as new presidents tend to do, obviously there’ll be an increased security posture at that time. But Congress isn’t even in session this week,” Cotton said, noting that “we have thousands of troops guarding the Capitol where congressmen and senators work and their staff work at a time when the security threats simply do not justify it — at least to my knowledge.”
He insisted that Pelosi “needs to come forth and explain why they do.”
National Guard troops were deployed and fencing erected in Washington after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Former President Donald Trump was accused of inciting the mob to insurrection and was impeached by the House of Representatives with 10 House Republicans voting with the Democrats. (RELATED: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Ted Cruz ‘Almost Had Me Murdered’)
Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has suggested the fencing remains in place to intimidate Trump supporters and Republican voters.