Several lawmakers expressed outrage following a report that National Guard troops had been “banished” to a parking garage after serving to defend against potential threats at the inauguration of President Biden.
Politico reported Thursday night that U.S. Capitol Police officials had the Guard troops removed from the facilities “sending them outdoors or to nearby parking garages after two weeks pulling security duty” following the Capitol riots in early January.
The report notes that outdoor temperatures in the area fell into the 40s, while conditions inside the parking garage for one unit of 5,000 consisted of just one electrical outlet and one bathroom.
One Guardsman conveyed his feelings about the situation to Politico.
“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service,” he said.
“Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage,” the Guardsman added. “We feel incredibly betrayed.”
MILITARY SOURCE IN DC:
“For the last week my battalion has been sleeping on the floor in the Senate cafeteria. Today the Senate kicked us out & moved us to a cold parking garage.
1 power outlet.
This is how Joe Biden’s America treats solders.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 22, 2021
National Guard Troops Banished to Garage Following Biden Inauguration
A CNN report shortly thereafter indicated the National Guard troops had been “banished” to the garage but were “allowed back into the Capitol Complex” following an outcry from lawmakers.
The initial move to force them into a garage reflected poorly on Democrats considering the troops were used to help defend the inauguration of one of their own party members.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), an Iraq war veteran, tweeted, “Just made a number of calls and have been informed Capitol Police have apologized to the Guardsmen and they will be allowed back into the complex tonight. I’ll keep checking to make sure they are.”
Her Senate colleague Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) also took to Twitter writing, “This is outrageous, shameful, and incredibly disrespectful to the men and women keeping the U.S. Capitol safe and secure. We need it fixed and we need answers on how it happened.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who typically despises law and order, chimed in.
Yeah this is not okay.
My office is free this week to any service members who’d like to use it for a break or take nap on the couch. We’ll stock up on snacks for you all too.
(We’re in the middle of moving offices and it’s a bit messy so don’t judge, but make yourself at home!) https://t.co/JyEvC4kg6o
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 22, 2021
Even Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) gave out his office location and offered it to accommodate the National Guard troops, a service he normally reserves for Chinese spies – allegedly.
My office is 174 Cannon. We will be open first thing in the morning and can accommodate any troops who stop by.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) January 22, 2021
Props for a Photo-Op
The Democrat outrage was necessary because the optics of having the National Guard protect a Democrat president and then be summarily dismissed to a garage is outrageous.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), upon hearing the reports, called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer—why are American troops who are tasked with keeping security at the Capitol being forced to sleep in a parking lot?” he asked. “They deserve to be treated with respect, and we deserve answers.”
Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer—why are American troops who are tasked with keeping security at the Capitol being forced to sleep in a parking lot?
They deserve to be treated with respect, and we deserve answers. pic.twitter.com/J0R2dRC8bM
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 22, 2021
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) brought the troops pizza and offered to let them sleep in his office as well.
“Our troops deserve better,” he tweeted.
I just visited the solders who have been abandoned & insulted by our leaders. I brought them pizza and told them that they can sleep in my office.
No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress
Our Troops deserve better. pic.twitter.com/4attFqhRRJ
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 22, 2021
There is no evidence that Pelosi, Schumer, or any other Democrat had any role in placing the National Guard troops in a parking garage. In fact, that would seem to fall on the shoulders of the Capitol police.
Still, it’s difficult to view the Guard’s treatment as further evidence that Democrats used them – either for a photo op for President Biden following overblown reports of a threat at the Capitol, or worse, simply as a means to prevent a pro-Trump rally from breaking out at his inauguration.
Remember weeks ago when reports surfaced that team Biden was worried about a MAGA rally breaking out at the inauguration?
I defy anybody to deny the fact that they USED 25,000 National Guard troops with the sole purpose of keeping that from happening.
— Rusty Weiss (@rustyweiss74) January 22, 2021
It wasn’t that long ago that the left ridiculed former President Trump for using National Guard troops to protect the southern border from actual threats to our nation, belittling them as props.
Now they’ve been used as props because a man so popular that he received 81 million votes in the presidential election had to be protected from the American people.
When their purpose had been served, our troops were quickly cast aside … until photos started leaking about what had happened.