As more than 25,000 National Guard troops head into Washington, D.C., ahead of Inauguration Day, new concerns over the potential of an “insider threat” have reportedly risen to the surface — and now one Democratic lawmaker is suggesting that every Guardsmen who voted for President Trump should be a “suspect.”
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What did he say?
Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.), who chairs the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, made the wild suggestion during an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Monday.
“This morning I was reading about this on my Twitter account I guess, and people were reminding people of Anwar Sadat and Indira Gandhi who were killed by their own people,” Cohen said in reference to two political leaders who were assassinated by those tasked with protecting them.
“You know, I was thinking, the [National] Guard is 90 some odd percent I believe male, only about 20% of white males voted for Biden. You got to figure that in the Guard which is predominately more conservative — and I see that on my social media and we know it — there’s probably not more than 25% of the people that are there protecting us who voted for [President-elect Joe Biden]. The other 75% are in the class that would be the large class of folks who might want to do something,” he continued. “And there were military people and police who took oaths to defend the Constitution and to protect and defend who didn’t do it, who were in the insurrection. So, it does concern me …”
When Sciutto cut in to push back at Cohen’s suggestion that simply having voted for President Trump should make someone a threat, the Democratic lawmaker dug his heels in.
“You draw circles of people, and in the first circle is people who were for Trump and not for Biden as far as people who would be within the zone of folks who you would be suspect of, and the suspect group is large,” he said.
What’s the background?
The Associated Press reported Sunday that the FBI began vetting thousands of service members stationed in the nation’s capital after U.S. defense officials express concern over the potential that individuals charged with protecting the city may present a threat to Biden or other government officials.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy reportedly told the news agency that commanders have been instructed to be on the lookout for problems within their ranks. He added that no issue has been discovered yet.
“We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy said.