President Trump has directed the National Guard, as well as “other federal protective services” to the Capitol Building during a breach and violent protests amid a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted.
At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services.
We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) January 6, 2021
“The D.C. Guard has been mobilized to provide support to federal law enforcement in the District,” Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, said Wednesday. “Acting Secretary Miller has been in contact with Congressional leadership, and Secretary McCarthy has been working with the D.C. government.”
Hoffman added that “the law enforcement response will be led by the Department of Justice.”
A Justice Department official told Fox News that Acting Attorney General Rosen is coordinating with law enforcement partners to add additional Federal support to the Capitol Police.
Multiple defense officials told Fox News that the Pentagon authorized the mobilization of the entire D.C. National Guard, which is approximately 1,800 troops, which will take several hours to mobilize. The sources said that federal law enforcement would be in the lead.
Before the president’s direction, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested that the National Guard be deployed to the Capitol earlier Wednesday. Sources told Fox News that the Defense Department did not want troops in uniform on the Capitol, and instead wanted to back up police to give them the ability to shore up forces and clear out the building.
Bowser also ordered a city-wide curfew in Washington D.C. beginning at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning.
The Pentagon did not deny any requests from Bowser for more troops, but sources told Fox News that they do not see a role for active duty U.S. military.
A defense official stressed that the U.S. Military should not be used to determine the outcome of elections.
The FBI Washington Field Office also told Fox News that they have been responding to “reports of suspicious devices.”
“The investigation is ongoing,” the FBI told Fox News. “The FBI has been deployed to assist our U.S. Capitol Police partners as requested in protection of federal property and public safety.”
Meanwhile, a White House source told Fox News that the president would address the nation in a taped video on Twitter “shortly.”
Earlier, the president urged protesters to “stay peaceful” on Twitter.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” Trump tweeted.
I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Minutes later, he said he was “asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful.”
“No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order—respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” He tweeted.
Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
The president’s tweets come as pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol, sending Congress into recess as they attempted to certify the results of the presidential election in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
The president spoke earlier in the day in Washington D.C., to supporters, who later marched to the Capitol, and mounted further pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to act on his own to decertify the results of the election and send them back to the states for recertification.
Pence, before the joint session of Congress began, said he did not believe, under the Constitution, that he had the authority to “unilaterally” accept or reject electoral votes.
The president slammed Pence, saying he “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify.”
“USA demands the truth!” Trump tweeted.
Protesters from the pro-Trump rally descended on the Capitol, clashing with police and leading authorities to lockdown the buildings.
Pence was rushed out of the House chamber.
Fox News has learned that a shooting victim was transported from the U.S. Capitol, as windows and doors were broken, and guns were drawn on the House floor.
Democrats and Republicans are slamming the president, lawmakers, allies, and former Trump administration officials alike, urging the president to condemn the violence, and demand the protesters leave the Capitol, saying that his tweets did not go far enough.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News that the president should appear on camera Wednesday afternoon to address the situation.
The president’s former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also urged the president to condemn the violence.
“The President’s tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home,” Mulvaney tweeted.
Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale also tweeted: “This is not MAGA. We are not ANTIFA and the left. We should do it the correct way, leave the Capital and Stop! The world is laughing at us. Live to fight in elections in the future. Save this country by growing our base and winning elections.”
Former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah urged the president to: “Condemn this now, @realDonaldTrump – you are the only one they will listen to. For our country!”
Meanwhile, Pence demanded that “the violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”
The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 6, 2021
“Peaceful protest is the right of every American but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Pence said.
And former Attorney General Bill Barr slammed the protests, calling the violence “outrageous and despicable. Federal agencies should move immediately to disperse it.”
From former Attorney General Bill Barr: “The violence at the Capitol Building is outrageous and despicable. Federal agencies should move immediately to disperse it.”
— Kerri Kupec (@Kerri_Kupec) January 6, 2021