Republican Florida Rep. Michael Waltz said Thursday that he’s not finding any evidence of militia groups planning to attack the Capitol and “after today” it’s time to send the National Guard troops home.
“Well, apparently there’s an intelligence brief out of Biden’s Department of Homeland Security saying there’s a lot of chatter,” Waltz, who is a lieutenant-colonel in the Florida National Guard and an ex-Green Beret, told “Fox & Friends.”
“That is out there, but at the same time, when I talked to security officials and they’re not seeing any hotel rooms being filled up, they’re not seeing camp grounds being filled up, they’re not seeing bus loads of — you know, hoards of militia groups coming over the horizon,” Waltz said. (RELATED: ‘Time To Send The Troops Home’: Sen. Cotton Says No Need For Capitol To Be An ‘Armed Fortress’)
U.S. Capitol Police indicated Wednesday that they would adopt an increased security posture after receiving intelligence that suggested there were plans afoot to attack the Capitol on March 4, a date that was once associated with presidential inauguration day.
The congressman also said has received a memo from the House of Representatives acting sergeant of arms that indicates “there is “no indication that groups are traveling to D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence.”
“So it’s a bit all over the place,” Waltz told Fox.
But Waltz said that even if nothing happens Thursday, the thousands of troops deployed to the Capitol can see no end to their mission and are “standing every 50 feet, staring at a fence, away from their homes and their families and their business … I mean, after today send them home.”
He noted that he’s heard the Guard may be kept in town until the State of the Union address.
“So this is about optics and it’s politics at its worst. You know, send those troops home.”
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.
But Waltz insisted, “Something is really odd here but at the end of the day, this area isn’t equipped to handle a brigade of soldiers … there’s more soldiers sitting right on the Capitol than we have in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.” (RELATED: Rep. Zeldin Says Democratic Election Plan Is To Call Republicans ‘White Supremacists, Extremist, Nazis’ Every Two Years)
Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has suggested the fencing remains in place to intimidate Trump supporters and Republican voters.