Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has joined the chorus of Democrats casting suspicion on the National Guard troops deployed to the capital city, whose political views may not be in alignment with the Democrats.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Bowser, who has called for vetting of the troops, said she wants troops to be removed from the force entirely if they are “pulled by other views.”
"When you have Guardsmen and women coming from all over the nation at this time, I do think that it is prudent to make sure that they are being vetted and that anybody who cannot pledge allegiance to their missions, and may be pulled by other views, needs not only to be removed from this duty, they need to be removed from the Guard," said Bowser in her address.
Her comments follow the FBI’s announcement that it plans to vet National Guard members for extremist views. Since the announcement, at least 12 Guard members have been removed from attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, due to suspected ties with far-right groups, reports USA Today. The FBI did not identify the groups in question.
According to Jonathan Hoffman, a spokesman for the Pentagon, two members of the group were singled out for making “inappropriate comments” about Biden ahead of the inauguration, but not all 12 are suspected to have ties to extremist groups.
“We’re not taking any chances,” said Hoffman.
Democrats have expressed no small amount of concern that troops stationed in Washington D.C. and state capitals across the country may attempt to cause violence, following the riot on Jan. 6 at Capitol Hill. Despite rising concerns of potential violence or disruption, authorities have found no evidence of credible threats.