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A video of former President Donald Trump speaking during a rally near the White House on Jan. 6th, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing on June 9, 2022. (AP) A video of former President Donald Trump speaking during a rally near the White House on Jan. 6th, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing on June 9, 2022. (AP)

A video of former President Donald Trump speaking during a rally near the White House on Jan. 6th, is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing on June 9, 2022. (AP)

Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek August 10, 2022

No proof Trump asked for troops on Jan. 6 or that Democrats denied a request

If Your Time is short

  • There is no record of former President Donald Trump authorizing or requesting thousands of National Guard troops for the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

  • Several Trump administration officials who have testified before the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 said they never heard Trump request National Guard support before or during the attack.

  • Congressional Democrats did not deny a request for troops. The D.C. National Guard reports only to the president. If such a request had been made, they would not have had the authority to deny it.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol has highlighted former President Donald Trump’s actions — and inaction — as rioters stormed the Capitol building that day. So far, sworn testimony by Trump administration officials has portrayed Trump as uninvolved and uninterested in keeping order.

One Facebook post claims that the "mainstream media" is hiding the truth.

"The item that the MSM keeps under wraps is the Trump memo to provide troops for a ‘peaceful’ protest on January 6th," said the Aug. 2 post. "So Trump asks for troops around the Capitol to make sure everyone is safe, but he gets turned down by the Democrats. So how does one cause an insurrection when they asked for troops for protection?"

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

(Screenshot from Facebook.)

The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack plans to reconvene in September, but the hearings have already revealed plenty of information — none of which corroborates claims that former President Donald Trump requested thousands of National Guard troops be deployed to ensure peace on Jan 6.

No record of Trump requesting troops for Jan. 6

A president has the authority to activate the D.C. National Guard. (National Guard troops from states and territories are under the command of governors, although a president can also call them into federal service.)

There is no record of Trump authorizing thousands of National Guard troops for the U.S. Capitol before the attack and no evidence that Democrats denied such a request.

Christopher Miller served as acting defense secretary on Jan. 6, 2021. In a recorded deposition shared by the House committee investigating the attack, Miller said that Trump never gave an order to have National Guard troops ready.

Miller told the House committee that he formally approved a request from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for "unarmed D.C. National Guard support" for planned demonstrations on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. 

"We received no further request for different or additional support until the Capitol was breached," Miller said. Ryan McCarthy, who was the U.S. Army secretary on Jan. 6, has also said Bowser’s request was the only one his office received before the attack.

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Miller told Vanity Fair that a few days before Jan. 6, during a meeting on an unrelated topic, Trump asked him how many troops the Defense Department planned to have on Jan. 6. Miller said he told Trump the plan was to provide National Guard support as requested by the District of Columbia. In response, Trump reportedly said, "You’re going to need 10,000 people."

Miller thought Trump was being "hyperbolic," Vanity Fair reported.

Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified that he was unaware of Trump making any phone calls to the defense secretary, attorney general or homeland security secretary on Jan. 6. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, Gen. Keith Kellogg told committee investigators that he never heard Trump ask for the National Guard or a law enforcement response. When asked by the committee whether he would have known if troops were to be present or called up for a rally near the Capitol, Kellogg said: "Yeah, I would have."

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP)

Democrats did not reject request for troops 

Trump, Fox News Host Sean Hannity and others have accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., of thwarting the former president’s alleged effort to protect the Capitol. But she would not have had the power to do so.

Members of Congress don’t have the authority to activate the D.C. National Guard, said Jane L. Campbell, president and CEO of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, a nonprofit and nonpartisan educational organization.

"If the president calls the National Guard to the U.S. Capitol, no congressional official has the authority to decline its service," she said.

Our ruling

A Facebook post said Trump asked "for troops around the Capitol to make sure everyone was safe," on Jan. 6 but was "turned down by the Democrats."

There’s no record that Trump requested or authorized a request that thousands of National Guard troops be deployed "around the Capitol" on Jan. 6. There’s also no evidence that Democrats turned down such a request.

We rate this claim False.

RELATED: What’s next for the Jan. 6 Committee?

RELATED: No evidence Pelosi ‘rejected’ Trump’s authorization for ‘20,000 National Guard’ before Jan. 6 attack

RELATED: No proof Trump requested 10,000 Guard troops for Jan. 6 or that Pelosi denied it

Our Sources

CBS News, "Trump did not have 10,000 troops ready to deploy on Jan. 6, his defense secretary says," July 26, 2022

Vanity Fair, "‘The president threw us under the bus’: embedding with pentagon leadership in Trump’s chaotic last week," Jan. 22, 2021

CBS News, "Pence gave ‘direct’ and ‘unambiguous’ orders to have military come to the Capitol," July 21, 2022

Forbes Breaking News, "New audio from Mark Milley reveals Pence, not Trump, called for National Guard on Jan 6th," June 9, 2022

The Washington Post, "Jan. 6 committee holds eighth public hearing in series - 07/21," July 21, 2022

NPR, "Here's every word from the 8th Jan. 6 committee on its investigation," July 22, 2022

WSLS 10, "House holds hearing on Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection," May 12, 2022

National Guard, "DOD details National Guard response to Capitol attack," Jan. 8, 2021

U.S. Department of Defense, "Planning and execution timeline for the National Guard’s involvement in the January 6, 2021 violent attack at the U.S. Capitol," Jan. 8, 2021

U.S. Senate, "Examining the U.S. Capitol attack: A review of the security, planning and response failures on January 6," June 1, 2021

PolitiFact, "No proof Trump requested 10,000 Guard troops for Jan. 6 or that Pelosi denied it," March 2, 2021

PolitiFact, "No evidence Pelosi ‘rejected’ Trump’s authorization for ‘20,000 National Guard’ before Jan. 6 attack," June 13, 2022

USA Today, "Trump repeats false claim that Pelosi rejected request for National Guard ahead of Jan. 6," Dec. 16, 2021

The Washington Post, "No, Trump did not order 10,000 troops to secure the Capitol on Jan. 6," Dec. 15, 2021

Council on Foreign Relations, "A unique military force: The U.S. National Guard," Jan. 15, 2021

PBS News Hour, "Pentagon eases approval process for urgent use of D.C. National Guard," Dec. 30, 2021

Reuters, "Pentagon refines DC National Guard approval authority after Capitol riot," Dec. 30, 2021

Business Insider, "Trump never gave order to deploy National Guard ahead of January 6, former defense secretary testifies," July 26, 2022

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No proof Trump asked for troops on Jan. 6 or that Democrats denied a request

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