Stars and Stripes stripes.com 08 Jan, 2021 04:15 am

Pentagon limited DC National Guard before pro-Trump protests

Pentagon limited DC National Guard before pro-Trump protests
The need for higher-level approval appeared to have slow the military response when the Capitol Police requested backup from 200 troops Wednesday.

Pentagon limited DC National Guard before pro-Trump protests With the U.Capitol in the background, members of the National Guard stand behind newly placed fencing around the Capitol grounds the day after violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.EVAN VUCCI/AP WASHINGTON — The Pentagon placed limited the District of Columbia National Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests this week, trying to ensure the use of military force remained constrained, as the Guard carried out a narrow, unarmed mission requested by the city's mayor to help handle traffic before planned protests.Then, the mission abruptly changed - and the Pentagon is now facing criticism from governors and local officials for the speed with which it sent National Guard troops to respond, criticism its leaders rebutted Thursday.

On the call, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was asked whether he wanted help from the National Guard.Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, confirmed that account in an interview with The Washington Post, saying Capitol Police "made it perfectly clear that they needed extraordinary help, including the National Guard.

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