Trump considered deploying the national guard to US Capitol, NYT says – to protect his supporters
- Before the US Capitol's riot, President Trump considered using the National Guard to defend his supporters, The New York Times (NYT) reported.
- Trump worried that counter-protesters might disrupt attendees at his rally, the outlet said.
- In reality, the crowd faced little resistance in their march on the Capitol, which evolved into a violent attack that derailed Congress's session and left five people dead.
- The National Guard was ultimately deployed, but to force the rioters out rather than protect them.
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President Donald Trump considered using the National Guard to protect the crowd of his supporters who went on to ransack the US Capitol, according to The New York Times.
Citing his advisers, the Times said that Trump considered making the National Guard available to protect his supporters from counter-protesters.
The outlet said the idea, which he ultimately did not see through, came before Wednesday's events unfolded.
What began as a rally for supporters near the White House evolved into an invasion of the US Capitol, repudiated worldwide, which sparked a new crisis in the last days of Trump's presidency.
Trump urged the crowd to "fight much harder" and "show strength" before sending them to the building, where lawmakers were certifying that he lost the 2020 presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump falsely characterised that process as a fraud on the American people, which could be overturned that day.
As they headed to the Capitol, Trump's supporters were not impeded by counter-protesters and easily overwhelmed efforts by Capitol Police to keep them back.
As the riot continued, there were calls to deploy the National Guard to stop the Trump supporters. Per the Times and other outlets, Trump resisted doing so.
According to CNN, it was Vice President Mike Pence who facilitated the National Guard being sent out.
The troops and police secured the Capitol, around three-and-a-half hours after it was breached, and Congress finished certifying Biden's victory.