Donald Trump invites National Guardsmen to stay at his DC hotel after they were forced to sleep in garage
Thousands of National Guard troops were invited to stay at former President Donald Trump's 'Trump Hotel' in Washington, DC after they were 'kicked out' of the Capitol building by police. At least 5,000 guardsmen and women — deployed at the Capitol to protect President Joe Biden's inauguration — were forced to take shelter in an underground parking garage after being ordered to vacate the building by Capitol Police.
The soldiers were forced to sleep on the floor in freezing temperatures and had to share just one bathroom and one power outlet, sparking a major backlash. Speaking to OAN on Friday, January 22, one adviser revealed how Trump had stepped in and informed the troops they could stay at his luxury hotel near the Capitol. In a video shared by Trump’s Washington, DC hotel, local police officers were seen resting in the reception area.
“A heart full of gratitude to all our law enforcement officers... Enjoy America’s Living Room and great having you all with us... @DCPoliceDept,” Mickael Damelincourt, managing director for the district's Trump International Hotel, tweeted on Wednesday, January 20. This was posted shortly before Biden was inaugurated blocks away.
A heart full of gratitude to all our law enforcement officers...Enjoy America’s Living Room and great having you all with us... @DCPoliceDept pic.twitter.com/HxofXMiEkl— Mickael Damelincourt (@mdamelincourt) January 20, 2021
Politicians across the aisle lashed out on social media after it emerged that National Guard troops were relegated to sleeping in a parking lot following Inauguration Day duties. “I just visited the solders who have been abandoned & insulted by our leaders,” Republican Rep Madison Cawthorn tweeted. “I brought them pizza and told them that they can sleep in my office. No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress. Our Troops deserve better.”
I just visited the solders who have been abandoned & insulted by our leaders. I brought them pizza and told them that they can sleep in my office.— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 22, 2021
No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress
Our Troops deserve better. pic.twitter.com/4attFqhRRJ
Lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, demanded the units be brought back inside after witnessing their situation. “Well, I don’t want to go out on a limb but let me say this, whatever blockhead in the United States Senate decided that the National Guard has to sleep in the parking garage should be sleeping in the parking garage themselves tonight,” stated Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
Politico revealed how one of the Guardsmen said, "Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed." The outlet also reported that a unit that was resting at the Dirksen Senate Office building were told to vacate the facility "abruptly" on January 21, as per a Guardsman.
The outlet published photos of the Guards in the parking garage with many sleeping on the ground. Another guardsman revealed that they were told to "take their rest breaks during their 12-hour shifts outside and in parking garages."
Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer—why are American troops who are tasked with keeping security at the Capitol being forced to sleep in a parking lot?— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 22, 2021
They deserve to be treated with respect, and we deserve answers. pic.twitter.com/J0R2dRC8bM
CNN reported that a National Guardsman said, "After everything went seamlessly, we were deemed useless and banished to a corner of a parking garage." Task & Purpose also revealed that another of the guards said, "Leaving our families for the last two weeks to come down here... it’s certainly important and historic, but the day after the inauguration you kick us literally to the curb? Come on, man."
While it is unclear who gave the ill-advised order, some Republicans are reportedly pointing the finger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who has remained silent on the issue, according to OAN. Nonetheless, a number of state governors have ordered their Guardsmen to return home.