20,000 guardsmen to deploy for Biden inauguration

By Lisa Lambert and Makini Brice WASHINGTON (Reuters) - While Congress acted to impeach him, President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged his supporters to shun violence as the National Guard prepared to deploy at least 20,000 troops in Washington for the Jan. 20 swearing-in of his successor Joe Biden.

Reuters January 14, 2021 02:11:13 IST
20,000 guardsmen to deploy for Biden inauguration

20000 guardsmen to deploy for Biden inauguration

By Lisa Lambert and Makini Brice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - While Congress acted to impeach him, President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged his supporters to shun violence as the National Guard prepared to deploy at least 20,000 troops in Washington for the Jan. 20 swearing-in of his successor Joe Biden.

The city's acting police chief Robert Contee announced the figure a week after thousands of supporters of the Republican Trump stormed Congress in a failed bid to stop the final certification of the Democrat Biden's election victory. One police officer and four protesters died in the siege.

About 8,000 National Guard troops were on hand for Trump's 2016 inauguration, Reuters reported at the time.

While the House of Representatives debated a formal charge of "incitement of insurrection," Trump and the Republican National Committee called for an end to violence ahead of the Inauguration.

In a White House statement, Trump said: "In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers."

Home-sharing giant Airbnb and subsidiary HotelTonight were cancelling all reservations in Greater Washington during the inauguration week.

Roads near the Capitol, which were overrun with violent protesters on Jan. 6, have been closed. The National Park Service has closed the Washington Monument to tours and Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked visitors to stay away.

Incoming troops will be responsible for securing the city before Biden's inauguration, with new fencing engulfing the Capitol area. Two officials said some National Guard troops were deputized as Capitol Police officers to carry out law enforcement functions if needed.

Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen warned against further attacks in a video released overnight and urged the public to come forward with tips about potential attacks and threats before the inauguration, including "attempts to forcefully occupy government buildings," he said.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said it was unclear why Rosen and other top U.S. officials had taken so long to speak publicly, or why Rosen's video was posted overnight, raising further questions about how federal law enforcement responded to the mostly white mob's attack last week compared with the more diverse Black Lives Matters protests last summer.

"It's inexplicable," McCabe told CNN on Wednesday.

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a target of conservative media, told of fearing for her life in an Instagram Live video on Tuesday.

"I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive," she said without providing details, citing security concerns.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Lisa Lambert, Makini Brice, Idrees Ali and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Heather Timmons and Howard Goller)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.