Hundreds of National Guard troops are sleeping on the stone floor of the US Capitol as security intensifies in Washington DC and the capital goes into lockdown a week out from Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The troops, who descended on DC in the wake of last week’s MAGA mob riots, were spotted cradling their weapons as they slept on the floor of the Capitol on Wednesday morning.
Lawmakers entering the building walked by the sleeping troops as they lined the hallways. It is reportedly the first time troops have set up camp in the Capitol since the Civil War.
The National Guard has been authorized to send a total of 15,000 troops to Washington to help safeguard the capital ahead of Biden’s inauguration. There are already 6,200 troops on the ground in DC. At least 10,000 will be in place by Saturday and the remaining 5,000 on standby in case violence erupts.
The troops, thousands of other law enforcement officers and layers of eight -foot anti-climb steel fencing are among the reinforcements being used to fortify DC a week out from the inauguration in a bid to protect the capital from any potential violence.
Security experts have said chatter among extremists and Trump supporters on social media about holding armed marches and threatening violence in DC and other cities has surged in recent days. The FBI has already warned of armed protests being planned in Washington and all 50 state capitals in the run-up to the inauguration.
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