OPINION| Former President Donald Trump stated on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was “responsible” for the January 6, 2021 disturbance at the Capitol.
“Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security. She turned down 10,000 soldiers. If she didn’t turn down the soldiers, you wouldn’t have had Jan. 6,” Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker during a recent sit-down interview at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as Fox News reported.
Trump refused to answer whether he called the military or law enforcement that day, stating, “I behaved so well, I did such a good job, Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 soldiers.”
Questioning Trump’s Claim
Welker questioned Trump’s assertion that Pelosi possessed the same authority as the commander in chief on the issue of the security of the Capitol.
“I understand that the police testified against her, the chief very strongly [testified] against her, the Capitol police, great people,” Trump said in the interview aired Sunday. “They testified against her, and they burned all the evidence. OK? They burned all the evidence. They destroyed all the evidence about Nancy Pelosi.”
“She has authority over the Capitol,” Trump added. I asked her [for them] to be there three days in advance, and she turned it down.”
“She says that that request was never officially made,” said Welker, the newly minted program host.
Trump went on, saying “The mayor of D.C. gave us a letter saying that she turns it down. OK, we have it. Nancy Pelosi also was asked, and she turned it down. The police commissioner of Capitol police …” Trump continues as Welker attempted to interrupt him.
“Wait, a minute,” he pressed on, “Capitol police said that he wanted it, and Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t accept it. She’s responsible for Jan. 6. Nancy Pelosi’s responsible, and the Jan. 6 Committee refused to interview her,” he said.
“As our office has said before, the former president’s allegations are completely made up,” a representative for Pelosi told Fox News Digital, reacting to the interview. “As numerous independent fact-checkers have confirmed, Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination,” the spokesperson added.
The Decision Making Process
The Capitol Police Board, which includes the sergeants at arms of the House and Senate as well as the architect of the Capitol, decides whether or not to request National Guard assistance for the Capitol. According to the Associated Press, the board initially agreed not to call the Guard prior to January 6, but did so after the riots had already began.
House sergeant at arms reported to then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, while Senate sergeant at arms reported to then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The board members and former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund have given conflicting versions of who called for the Guard and when. The police chief and the two sergeants at arms resigned immediately following the assault. Pelosi was never subpoenaed by the Democrat-led House Committee on January 6.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Sund said that he had asked for help six times prior to and during the attack on the Capitol, but that each request had been ignored or delayed. He said House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving was reluctant to call up the National Guard because of the protests’ potential impact on the “optics” of declaring an emergency.