Pentagon Officials Explain 'Vetting' of National Guard Troops

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Posted: Jan 19, 2021 3:50 PM
Pentagon Officials Explain 'Vetting' of National Guard Troops

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Officials at the Pentagon addressed questions from reporters Tuesday afternoon about allegations from Democrats, despite no evidence, that National Guard Troops may engage in an "insider attack" while they are stationed throughout Washington D.C. 

"These are vetting efforts that identify any questionable behavior in the past, or any potential link to questionable behavior, not just related to extremism," Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said Tuesday.  "But...we're not asking questions right now. We're not asking questions of people who are flagged. We are out of an abundance of caution taking action and immediately removing them from the line of duty at the Capitol and the events taking place and then we will address them whether it's through law enforcement or through their chain of command."

"The American people should have confidence in the National Guard. They should have confidence in the law enforcement teams  that are planning for this inauguration, ensuring that President-elect Biden has a safe and secure inauguration tomorrow," he continued. 

Details about what counts as "extremism" or "problematic behavior" were not given. 

Yesterday Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said, "While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital.”

That didn't stop Democrat Congressman Steven Cohen from accusing "white" National Guard Troops, who may have voted for President Donald Trump, of being unable to carry out their duties and fulfill their oath to the U.S. Constitution. 

"You know, I think the Guard is 90 some odd percent I believe male, only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden. You gotta figure that the guard which is predominantly more conservative and I see that on my social media, and we know it, there are probably not more than 25 percent of the people there protecting us that voted for Biden, the other 75 percent are in the class that would be the large class of folks who might want to do something and there were military people and police who took oaths to defend the Constitution and to protect and defend who didn’t do it, who were in the insurrection," Cohen said during an interview on CNN. "So yes, it does concern me."