Sean Hannity is drawing criticism for once again claiming that former President Donald Trump ordered 20,000 National Guard troops to be deployed in Washington D.C., but who is really spreading “misinformation”?
Did former President Donald Trump order the National Guard to be deployed on Jan. 6 or not?
According to Mediaite, it’s all a bunch of hooey.
“The bogus claim has become Republican orthodoxy,” writes Mediaite of Hannity’s Friday conversation with Kash Patel, who served under Trump as the chief of staff to the Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense.
“You have information that nobody really has,” Hannity told Patel. “You were in the White House in the Oval Office, I believe — I think it was the Oval Office — with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, with the defense secretary. You were the chief-of-staff for the department of defense. I think Mark Meadows was in the room. And President Trump was in the room. And on January 4th in that room, Donald Trump authorized the use of up to 20,000 National Guard troops knowing that there was going to be a large crowd coming to the nation’s capital, that they would be marching on the Capitol.”
“Why didn’t Nancy Pelosi or [D.C. Mayor] Muriel Bowser take advantage of the resources that Donald Trump signed off on?” Hannity asked.
“The law requires his authorization and the law requires Muriel Bowser or Nancy Pelosi and the Capitol Police to request National Guard,” Patel answered. “Otherwise we are prohibited from doing that. Why Nancy Pelosi refused, I don’t know. You’d have to ask her.”
But did the request actually happen?
Mediaite says, “no,” stating, “The one glaring problem [with] this claim is that the Department of Defense has no record whatsoever of the authorization.”
The agency cites an article from the Washington Post, in which Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby says, “We have no record of such an order being given.”
Mediaite also cites a Vanity Fair article, in which reporter Adam Ciralsky, who was embedded with acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller at the time, writes:
The president, Miller recalled, asked how many troops the Pentagon planned to turn out the following day. “We’re like, ‘We’re going to provide any National Guard support that the District requests,'” Miller responded. “And [Trump] goes, ‘You’re going to need 10,000 people.’ No, I’m not talking bullshit. He said that. And we’re like, ‘Maybe. But you know, someone’s going to have to ask for it.'” At that point Miller remembered the president telling him, “‘You do what you need to do. You do what you need to do.’ He said, ‘You’re going to need 10,000.’ That’s what he said. Swear to God.”
But what, exactly, what Christopher Miller’s testimony on May 12, 2021, in front of a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing entitled “The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions”?
According to a headline from Reuters on the day, “Trump wanted troops to protect his supporters at Jan. 6 rally.”
Indeed, Miller testified that Trump told him, “Do whatever is necessary to protect demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights.”
In his own words, Miller states he was concerned about the optics of the situation, and that the media played a big role in his decision-making process.
“My concerns regarding the appropriate and limited use of the military in domestic matters were heightened by commentary in the media about the possibility of a military coup or that advisors to the President were advocating the declaration of martial law,” Miller testified.
“And, just before the Electoral College certification, ten former Secretaries of Defense signed an Op-Ed piece published in the Washington Post warning of the dangers of politicizing and using inappropriately the military,” he continued.
And that appears to be why the National Guard was never deployed to the Capitol, despite the President’s orders to get it done.
“That, in addition to the limited request from the Mayor for D.C. National Guard deployment distanced from the Capitol, is why I agreed only to deploy our Soldiers in areas away from the Capitol, avoiding amplifying the irresponsible narrative that your Armed Forces were somehow going to be co-opted in an effort to overturn the election,” Miller said.
And, to borrow from the great Paul Harvey, there you have the rest of the story.
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