Former President Donald Trump is getting hit with “four pinocchios.”
Trump claimed during a Fox News interview with Steve Hilton on Sunday that he “definitely” requested 10,000 National Guard troops ahead of the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6.
“They took that number. From what I understand, they gave it to the people at the Capitol, which is controlled by Pelosi,” Trump claimed. “And I heard they rejected it because they didn’t think it would look good. So, you know, that was a big mistake.”
Trump mentioning 10,000 National Guard troops is not new, as the Post points to Vanity Fair’s report on Jan. 22. The acting secretary of defense, Christopher Miller, recalled Trump asking “how many troops the Pentagon planned to turn out the following day,” as Vanity Fair writes.
Vanity Fair continues to report:
“We’re like, ‘We’re going to provide any National Guard support that the District requests,’” Miller responded. “And [Trump] goes, ‘You’re going to need 10,000 people.’ No, I’m not talking bulls—. He said that. And we’re like, ‘Maybe. But you know, someone’s going to have to ask for it.’” At that point Miller remembered the president telling him, “‘You do what you need to do. You do what you need to do.’ He said, ‘You’re going to need 10,000.’ That’s what he said. Swear to God.”
“So 10,000 appears to be a guesstimate based on the president’s own inflated belief in his ability to draw a crowd,” the Post reports, adding that Trump’s comment appears to have been more of an “offhand remark” than a “request.”
Then, according to an official, the message Miller was told was never relayed to others outside the Department of Defense, the Post reports.
The newspaper later notes Trump “did not make a request or any sort of order to dispatch the troops,” adding that if he had then “he would have followed up to make sure it was carried out.”
Additionally, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told the Post, “We have no record of such an order being given.”
The official memo by the Department of Defense on Jan. 6 only makes note of 340 National Guard troops possibly helping to assist with traffic control.
Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill called Trump’s comments “completely made up.”
The Post calls Trump’s claims that Pelosi rejected the offer of 10,000 troops “fantasy.”
“Like many of Trump’s falsehoods, there’s a seed of reality here,” the Post concludes. “But then the former president nurtures it into a bush of fictions as part of his continuing effort to evade responsibility for how his own actions led to the Capitol Hill riot. He earns Four Pinocchios.”