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Trump wanted troops to protect his supporters at Jan. 6 rally

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Virginia National Guard soldiers are issued their M4 rifles and live ammunition on the east front of the U.S. Capitol on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

May 12 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump wanted National Guard troops in Washington to protect his supporters at a Jan. 6 rally that ended with them attacking the U.S. Capitol, leaving five dead, Trump's former Pentagon chief testified on Wednesday.

By Jan Wolfe

Former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller told a House of Representatives panel that he spoke with Trump on Jan. 3, three days before the now-former president’s fiery speech that preceded the violence and led to his second impeachment. According to Miller’s testimony, Trump asked during that meeting whether the District of Columbia’s mayor had requested National Guard troops for Jan. 6, the day Congress was to ratify Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.

Trump told Miller to “fill” the request, the former defense secretary testified. Miller said Trump told him: “Do whatever is necessary to protect demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights.”

Miller made the remarks during a contentious hearing held by the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating security failures in the days leading to and during the riot.

Representative Carolyn Maloney, the Democrat who chairs the committee, demanded answers from Miller on why National Guard troops did not arrive until hours after the building was overrun.

Miller testified that the U.S. military was deliberately restrained that day when Trump’s rally turned into an assault by hundreds of his followers that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

Miller testified that he was concerned in the days before Jan. 6 that sending National Guard troops to Washington would fan fears of a military coup or that Trump advisers were advocating martial law. (Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Howard Goller and Jonathan Oatis)

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  • Kanu Sukha says:

    And the entire Rep. party (except for the few who chose to impeach Trump) were & continue to support insurrection. That there are elements in the police & military that support such insurrectionist attitudes was on full display Jan 6. The insurrectionists are sitting in Congress, minus KKK hoods!

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