The head of the Washington, D.C. National Guard testified Wednesday that he was “frustrated” that Pentagon leaders delayed approving his “frantic” request to send reinforcements to the Capitol for over three hours.
Major General William J. Walker said top brass made him jump through bureaucratic hoops and took a shocking 3 hours and 19 minutes to grant permission to help outnumbered Capitol Police as a mob stormed through the citadel of American democracy.
Walker described a dramatic phone call in which Pentagon officials resisted taking immediate action to defend the Capitol.
“I was frustrated. I was as stunned as anyone else,” Walker said during a Senate hearing.
“The Army senior leaders did not think it would look good, the optics,” Walker said. “Their best military advice was to have uniformed military guardsmen at the Capitol.”
Walker’s stunning reveal came during the second joint Senate hearing into the security failures of Jan. 6.
He said at least 155 National Guardsmen were ready to roll by about 2 p.m. that day. But Pentagon brass did not give them a green light to act until three hours later.
“That number could have made a difference,” Walker said. “We could have pushed back the crowd.”
Walker’s remarks appears to contradict claims by Pentagon brass that they acted as quickly as possible to the riot.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified Tuesday that the Pentagon reacted “super fast” to the riot.
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