PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Washington, D.C. remains under tight security after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Defense officials are reassuring the nation that the forces providing security for the inauguration are vetted to ensure they don’t have ties to extremist groups.
The National Guard is facing increased scrutiny this week ahead of the most protected inauguration in U.S. history. And now, we’re getting more information about the National Guards members removed for security reasons.READ MORE: Gasoline Shortage Appears To Be Creeping Into Philadelphia Region As Colonial Pipeline Resumes Operations
At least 12 army National Guard members are no longer part of Wednesday’s inauguration security detail in Washington, D.C.
The move came less than 24 hours before Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States.
“We’re out of an abundance of caution taking action and immediately removing them from the line of duty at the Capitol and the events taking place,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.
Defense officials weren’t specific about what led to the removals, but say a vetting process revealed these individuals previously made inappropriate comments or displayed questionable behavior.
“We want to make sure that there’s no issues at all and that those properly get looked into,” National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson said.
There are roughly 25,000 National Guard troops in D.C. focused on keeping the area safe during the transition of power.
“We are taking steps to ensure that there’s no concerns. The American people should have confidence in the National Guard,” Hoffman said.READ MORE: Man Shot 11 Times, Killed In Southwest Philadelphia Quadruple Shooting, Police Say
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said Monday there’s “no intelligence indicating an insider threat” to the inauguration.
Meantime, an emotional Biden addressed a crowd of supporters in Delaware Tuesday, saying he’s ready to lead the country.
“I’m truly honored to be your next president and commander-in-chief and I will always be a proud son of the state of Delaware,” he said.
Efforts to uncover and eliminate extremism within the military started prior to the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. But there’s been an increased urgency in doing so since that siege.
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