President Trump spoke about the January 6 riot at the Capitol during a phone interview with Steve Hilton on the Fox News Channel program the Next Revolution that aired Sunday night, saying he “hated to see it.”
Trump denied reports he was watching the riot on TV and liked what he was seeing, saying, “Well, that’s incorrect reporting. First of all I wasn’t watching TV. I turned it on later on when I heard about it and did a lot of moves. You know, we said to the Department of Defense, the top person, days before we had the rally, cuz that rally was massive…(Trump comments on large rally crowd)…and I said that I think you should have ten thousand, I think I gave the number, I definitely gave the number of ten thousand National Guardsmen, I think you have ten thousand of the National Guard ready. They took that number, from what I understand they gave it to the people at the Capitol which is controlled by Pelosi and I heard they rejected it because they didn’t think it looked good. So, you know, that was a big mistake.”
Hilton pressed Trump on how he feels now about the riot. Trump said, “I hate to see it, I think it’s terrible, I hate to see it” and went on to compare the “double standard” of the reaction to the Capitol riot with the riots last year by Antifa and the radical left in Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis.
CNN’s Olive Darcy posted a video clip of the interview with a typical for CNN misleading description.
The Daily Caller reported Saturday that Capitol officials said Pelosi’s office had made it clear in the months before the riot that National Guard should not be deployed to protect the Capitol because of optics.
In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Former Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving recalled to House Admin how previous discussions with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her office factored in to his “blender of decision making,” according to three sources with direct knowledge of Irving’s talk with House Admin.
Pelosi’s office had previously impressed upon Irving that the National Guard was to remain off Capitol Grounds, Irving allegedly told House Admin. The discussions, which centered around “optics,” allegedly occurred in the months prior to the Jan. 6 riot, during a time when deployment of federal resources for civil unrest was unpopular with Democrats and many members of Congress.
The three sources who confirmed the discussion to the Daily Caller did so under the condition of anonymity, citing the fear of putting a chill on further witnesses to how the security situation unfolded Jan. 6. The discussion, if accurate, raises questions as to what role Pelosi’s office had in the security failures that resulted in the resignations of both Irving and former Chief of Capitol Police Steven Sund. Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill did not deny the allegations in a statement to the Daily Caller.
“The Speaker’s Office has made it clear publicly and repeatedly that our office was not consulted or contacted concerning any request for the National Guard ahead of January 6th. That has been confirmed by former Sergeant at Arms Irving in sworn testimony before Senate committees. The Speaker expects security professionals to make security decisions and to briefed about those decisions,” Hammill said.
“It is our understanding that Committee on House Administration Ranking Republican Member Davis was briefed in advance of January 6th about security preparedness, but took no action to address any security concerns that he might have had,” he concluded.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a statement on January 5 that she did not want any help from federal law enforcement agencies, “To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway.”
The AP reported January 4 on Bowser’s request for a light contingent of unarmed Guard for traffic control, noting that no Guard would be deployed at the Capitol.
…Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested a limited National Guard deployment to help bolster the Metropolitan Police Department.
…According to a U.S. defense official, Bowser put in a request on New Year’s Eve to have Guard members on the streets from Jan. 5 to Jan. 7 to help with the protests. The official said the additional forces will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor.
…Some 340 D.C. National Guard members will be activated, with about 115 on duty in the streets at any given time, said the defense official, who provided details on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The official said Guard members will be used to set up traffic control points around the city and to stand with district police officers at all the city’s Metro stops. (Acting D.C. Police Chief) Contee said Guard troops will also be used for some crowd management.
…The defense official said that there will be no active duty military troops in the city, and the U.S. military will not be providing any aircraft or intelligence. The D.C. Guard will provide specialized teams that will be prepared to respond to any chemical or biological incident. But the official said there will be no D.C. Guard members on the National Mall or at the U.S. Capitol.
Like President Trump said, “That was a big mistake.”