DONALD Trump allowed Capitol security be overrun during the MAGA riots but demanded a massive National Guard presence at the Black Lives Matter rallies last year.
In stark contrast to Trump’s response to Wednesday’s violence, troops were aggressively and swiftly deployed by his administration during last summer’s BLM protests in Washington DC.
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Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday as lawmakers met to certify the results of November’s election.
The MAGA mob unleashed unprecedented scenes of mayhem as it tried to halt the peaceful transition of power.
At least four people died and several others were seriously injured in clashes after rioters fought cops and pushed their way inside the Capitol.
Despite the assault, the Capitol Police force did not request help to secure the building from other federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, according to one senior official.
And National Guard reinforcements, ordered by the city’s mayor, were not mobilised until more than an hour after protesters had first breached the barricades.
Rep. Adam Smith, the Armed Services Committee Chairman in the House, said Trump was out of the loop on the late decision to bring in the National Guard on Wednesday.
“Fortunately, all of those people decided they needed to bring security to the situation,” he said.
“The one saving grace in all of this is that the president has abdicated his job. As near as I can tell he wasn’t on the phone to these same people.
“And here’s the scary part about it. That’s reassuring to me. Because if the president was involved in that chain, number one, I don’t trust that he wouldn’t use the situation to seize power,” he continued.
“But number two, he’s incompetent.”
A US defense official said Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser requested National Guard troops at around 2pm on Wednesday – 45 minutes after the rioters had breached the first barricade.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller then activated the full National Guard at about 2.30pm, the official said.
It was Vice President Mike Pence, not Trump, who made the decision to bring in members of the National Guard, CNN reports.
Acting Pentagon chief Christopher Miller confirmed he had spoken to Pence – not Trump – about the decision.
In stark contrast, the National Guard was called in swiftly last June to move Black Lives Matter protesters who had gathered in the plaza between St John’s Episcopal Church and Lafayette Square in Washington.
The area was packed with protesters around 6.30pm when demonstrators and reporters at the scene said US Park Police and members of the National Guard used tear gas.
Law enforcement officers aggressively forced the protesters back, fired tear gas, and deployed flash bangs into the crowd to disperse them from the park for seemingly no reason.
The Park Police later released a statement saying they took the steps “to curtail the violence that was underway”.
Police said “violent protesters began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles, and caustic liquids”.
“The protesters also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior,” cops said.
“Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats, and metal poles hidden along the street.”
Wednesday’s chaos unfolded after Trump addressed thousands of supporters near the White House and told them to march on the Capitol to express their anger at lawmakers.
He told supporters to pressure their elected officials to reject the results, urging them “to fight”.
Meanwhile, Trump finally acknowledged his defeat in the presidential election on Thursday for the first time.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by his social media director.
“While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, its only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
Trump’s own Twitter account had been locked for posting messages which appeared to justify the assault on the Capitol.