Ex-President Says He Ordered All The Troops To Protect Capitol, So How Is It His Fault If They Didn't

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These liars are tryin' it. They summoned a mob of lunatics to the Capitol with abject lies about a stolen election, whipped them into a frenzy as the president himself promised to accompany them in their march on Congress, and then watched with glee as the crowd attacked the seat of government in an effort to overturn the presidential election. And now they're blaming Congress itself for failing to take adequate defensive measures, like an arsonist who scoffs that the building would never have burned down if only it had sprinklers.

Check out this asshole claiming that he told the Defense Department that they'd need 10,000 National Guard troops to keep order at his January 6 "lovefest" of hundreds of thousands of people being exhorted to "trial by combat" and to "fight like hell."


I said "Look, this rally is going to be bigger than anyone thinks" because everyone I see said, "Oh, we're going to be at the rally, we're going to be at the rally." ... Hundreds of thousands of people, and more than that. But hundreds of thousands of people. And I said that I think you should have 10,000 — I think I gave the number, I definitely gave the number of 10,000 National Guardsmen. I think you should have 10,000 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.

Naturally Fox News has credulously run with the account, topping it with the hed "Trump says he requested 10K National Guard troops at Capitol on day of riot." Astute observers will note that Trump himself never characterized this as a request, much less an order. Nor does the network delve into exactly why the former president anticipated the need for 10,000 armed troops to maintain order among his own supporters if he didn't have a fairly good idea they were descending on DC to FUCK SHIT UP.

Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows has floated a similar version of the story on Fox (of course!), telling Maria Bartiromo on February 7, "Even in January, that was a given, as many as 10,000 National Guard troops were told to be on the ready by the Secretary of Defense. That was a direct order from President Trump and yet here is what we see, all kinds of blame going around but yet not a whole lot of accountability. That accountability needs to rest with where it ultimately should be and that's on Capitol Hill."

Was there a "direct order from President Trump" which was stymied by Speaker Pelosi? Tell us, Vanity Fair!

On the evening of January 5—the night before a white supremacist mob stormed Capitol Hill in a siege that would leave five dead—the acting secretary of defense, Christopher Miller, was at the White House with his chief of staff, Kash Patel. They were meeting with President Trump on "an Iran issue," Miller told me. But then the conversation switched gears. The president, Miller recalled, asked how many troops the Pentagon planned to turn out the following day. "We're like, 'We're going to provide any National Guard support that the District requests,'" Miller responded. "And [Trump] goes, 'You're going to need 10,000 people.' No, I'm not talking bullshit. He said that. And we're like, 'Maybe. But you know, someone's going to have to ask for it.'" At that point Miller remembered the president telling him, "'You do what you need to do. You do what you need to do.' He said, 'You're going to need 10,000.' That's what he said. Swear to God."

So less than 12 hours before the rally, the president mentioned offhandedly to the secretary of Defense that he knew the event was going to get hairy, giving a general recommendation that Miller "do what you need to do." Which is ... not exactly a direct order or even a request. And indeed Miller himself never interpreted it as such, telling VF reporter Adam Ciralsky, "The president's sometimes hyperbolic, as you've noticed. There were gonna be a million people in the street, I think was his expectation ... So I think that was what was driving the president." And yet, somehow, it's Nancy Pelosi's fault that the (acting) secretary of Defense either blew off a direct order or ... there wasn't one.

But that's just, like, objective reality, right? And the GOP has put all their chips on the Big Lie that Biden stole the election and Nancy Pelosi is the one to blame for a filthy insurrectionist breaking into her office and taking a shit in her trash can. So, look for this one to become accepted GOP "alternative fact" by Friday.

[Fox / VF]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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