Repeating a claim debunked a year ago, former President Donald Trump insisted again this week that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had rejected the help of the National Guard last Jan. 6.
Fox News host Sean Hannity asked the former president Thursday night if he had “authorized” the Guard to protect the Capitol building “in the lead-up” to Jan. 6, 2021. Trump responded: “One hundred percent, and attested to by many people. And they turned it down … Nancy Pelosi turned it down … and she’s in charge of the Capitol.”
There would have been “no problem whatsoever, but they turned it down, which tells you everything,” Trump claimed, also referring to Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser. “If not for those Democrats … you would not have had any problem. It would have just been absolutely a lovely day.”
Trump did nothing to help for 187 minutes as he watched the violence unfold on TV in the White House, the Jan. 6 House Select Committee investigating the attack has said, citing firsthand testimony.
According to a Pentagon report about what transpired that day, as rioters called for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged, Pence himself made an urgent call for help to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, pleading: “Clear the Capitol!”
Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also desperately pleaded in a phone call with military leaders to deploy the National Guard as lawmakers hid for their lives from the marauding mob, the Pentagon report said. “We need help!” Schumer reportedly said.
Only after three hours had passed did President Trump finally ask the mob to go home, still baselessly claiming the election was fraudulent and telling them: “We know your pain … we love you; you’re very special.”
Trump first falsely claimed that Pelosi rejected an offer of 10,000 National Guard troops nearly a year ago — and has repeated that in speeches. Trump did not make a request for National Guard troops to secure the Capitol that day, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “We have no record of such an order being given,” he told The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.
He did “approve the activation” of the Guard prior to Jan. 6, The Associated Press reported.
Yet Pelosi was never contacted about deploying the Guard, according to her office.
“The Speaker’s Office has made it clear publicly and repeatedly that our office was not consulted or contacted concerning any request for the National Guard ahead of Jan. 6,” Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill has said.
Trump told Hannity on Thursday that there was a “lot of love” at the rally last year where he told his supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell.”
“There was a lot of love and a lot of friendship, and people that love our country. These are great people,” he said, failing to mention that the ensuing violence resulted in more than 700 arrests and a number of deaths during and after the attack on the Capitol.
CNN’s John King blasted Trump as “living in a fantasy world of lies” on Friday in response to his comments. (Check out the video clip up top.)