Progressive commentator Sam Seder said on Thursday’s episode of the Majority Report talk radio show that it appears the delayed deployment of the National Guard might have been due to the U.S. Department of Defense’s fear of Donald Trump having authority over the federal armed forces.
“I’ve heard conflicting reports on why that might have been the case,” he said in a YouTube clip while discussing the delayed response.
“There are some suggestions that the Defense Department was afraid of putting the National Guard under Donald Trump’s authority. And that they didn’t bring them out until they had the ability to talk to the leaders of both parties, including the vice president.”
“The bottom line is it all needs to be investigated,” he added.
According to CNN, it was Mike Pence — not Trump — who helped mobilize the National Guard on Wednesday amid the infiltration of the U.S. Capitol following the president’s nearby rally, where he encouraged his supporters to march on the building. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump abandoned his backers and returned home, where he allegedly watched coverage of the riots with enjoyment. The head of state reportedly refused to take action against the siege until White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone warned him of possible legal action against him.
Per CNN, Pence supposedly coordinated with the Pentagon to discuss the deployment of the National Guard and pressured them to “move faster than they were.” In addition, the news outlet pointed to public statements by acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller that suggested he spoke with his deputy instead of Trump amid reports that the U.S. leader was reluctant to denounce the violence from his supporters.
The New York Times corroborated CNN’s claim that Pence activated the National Guard.
“It was unclear why the president, who incited his supporters to storm the Capitol and who is still the commander in chief, did not give the order,” the report read.
According to The Washington Post, the Pentagon placed limits on D.C. National Guard ahead of the pro-Trump protests to minimize the use of military force. Notably, memos issued on Monday and Tuesday prohibited the guardsmen from the following: interacting with protesters except in instances of self-defense; receiving riot gear or ammunition; sharing equipment with local law enforcement; and using air assets or surveillance without the approval of the defense secretary
The limits were in place because the federal armed forces were not asked to assist with riot or crowd control, the publication added.