The Washington Post is slapping Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) with “four Pinocchios” for falsely claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) denied a request for National Guard troops ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“Capitol Police requested National Guard help prior to January 6th. That request was denied by Speaker Pelosi and her Sergeant at Arms,” Jordan wrote on Twitter on Feb. 15.
The Post noted in an analysis that Jordan refers to Paul D. Irving as “her Sergeant at Arms” but argues he was appointed in 2012 by then-House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
The publication then referenced a letter, Steven A. Sund, the U.S. Capitol Police chief, wrote to Pelosi on Feb. 1.
Sund said he spoke to Irving about the request first, who “stated that he was concerned about the ‘optics’ and didn’t feel that the intelligence supported it.”
He was reportedly told to go to Michael C. Stenger, the Senate sergeant-at-arms, for his thoughts on the request.
“Instead of approving the use of the National Guard, however, Mr. Stenger suggested I ask them how quickly we could get support if needed and to ‘lean forward’ in case we had to request assistance on January 6,” Sund wrote.
Sund added when he contacted Gen. William Walker, commanding officer of the D.C. National Guard, he “advised that he could repurpose 125 National Guard and have them to me fairly quickly, once approved. I asked General Walker to be prepared in the event that we requested them.”
The Post claimed there is “no indication” Pelosi was involved, “Irving supposedly had made a vague reference to ‘optics,’ but there is no indication what that means,” the Post writes.
The paper pointed out Stenger was reluctant to immediately support the request.
“So there is little reason to suggest Irving, acting under Pelosi’s direction, only was responsible. It appeared to have been a joint decision,” the analysis reads.
The publication wrote they asked for evidence for Jordan’s tweet but were referred to a letter to Pelosi on Feb 15. centering around Irving’s statement about “optics.”
Irving explained the use of the word optics during a Senate hearing, “My use of the word optics has been mischaracterized in the media. Let me be clear. Optics as portrayed in the media played no role whatsoever in my decisions about security.”
He continued, “And any suggestion to the contrary is false. Safety was always paramount when making security plans for January 6th.”
The Post cited a spokesman for Pelosi, Drew Hammill, who said there were no discussions between Irving and her or her office before the riots.
“We are not involved in the day-to-day operations of that office at all,” he said. “We expect security professionals to make security decisions.”
The Post writes:
“Without evidence, Jordan asserted that House Speaker Pelosi had denied a request for National Guard troops two days before the insurrection. Instead, public testimony shows she did not even hear about the request until two days later. Jordan also tried to pin the blame on the House sergeant-at-arms, but testimony shows the Senate sergeant-at-arms also was not keen about the idea.”
The Post concluded, “Jordan earns Four Pinocchios for his tweet. Speculation is not the same as evidence.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.