A new unit of mostly military policemen has been established by the National Guard Bureau in response to ongoing civil unrest in the coming days leading up to Nov. 3.
“The unit, which also could be used to respond to natural disasters and other missions, was formed in September and initially described as a rapid-reaction force,” Dan Lamothe wrote in Friday’s Washington Post. “But as one of the most divisive elections in American history closes in, National Guard officials have softened how they characterize the service members, instead referring to them as ‘regional response units.'”
“As governors across the nation continue to request support to law enforcement, they frequently turn to the National Guard,” Wayne Hall, a National Guard Bureau spokesman, said in a statement. “A National Guard Regional Response Unit was created to quickly provide additional Military Police to state or territory to augment their own responding units.”
“They determine how we are used in support of their efforts to address those kinds of situations,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Daryl L. Bohac, the adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard. “The bottom line here is we are not in charge.”
National Guard members who are working as poll workers will not be tasked with responding to any violence, said Army Brig. Gen. Robyn Blader, the assistant adjutant general of the Wisconsin National Guard.
“If there is any civil unrest, it will go through the normal 911 channels,” she said.
Lindsay Cohn, a professor who studies civil-military relations at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., said, “The more political and more violent these things get, the less the Guard is going to want to have to do with them,” she said. “But the larger or more violent the situation is, the more likely the state is to need Guard support.”
The response might look different in Washington, D.C. considering it’s under federal jurisdiction.
“I would not be surprised to see something similar to this past summer play out, especially since D.C. is likely to be the focus of protests almost no matter what happens,” Cohn said.
‘I’m utterly embarrassed’: Michigan Republican admits Rudy Giuliani ‘waded into the realm of insanity’
Michigan state Rep. Aaron Miller, a Republican, this week accused Rudy Giuliani of entering the "realm of insanity" with his testimony to lawmakers in Michigan.
Miller made the remarks following Giuliani's wild testimony to the Michigan House Oversight Committee.
"I’m happy to thoughtfully listen to evidence and claims and that was what today was supposed to be about, but Mr. Giuliani’s final statement waded into the realm of insanity," Miller said, according to The Detroit News. "He made wild and broad partisan insults for several minutes that had nothing to do with the election, and it was frankly unacceptable, shameful, and pathetic and distracts from any evidence that we might hear."
Trump refuses to say whether he still has confidence in AG Bill Barr
President Donald Trump on Thursday refused to say whether he still had confidence in embattled Attorney General Bill Barr.
According to Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, the president was asked whether Barr still had his confidence, and Trump replied that reporters should ask him that question again in a few weeks.
Trump is reportedly furious at Barr for two reasons.
First, Barr told the Associated Press this week that so far the Department of Justice has found no evidence of systemic voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 election.
Trump ‘can’t handle the humiliation of being labeled a loser’: CNN White House correspondent
CNN White House correspondent John Harwood on Thursday said that President Donald Trump is lashing out everywhere because he cannot psychologically cope with the fact that he lost the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden.
While talking with CNN host Kate Bolduan, Harwood explained how Trump's fragility over the results of the election has now led him to turn on longtime ally Attorney General Bill Barr.
"What he's concerned about is the fact that Bill Barr, who's been a very pliant attorney general, who's done the president's bidding on a number of fronts, ran into the reality that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud tilting this election," Harwood explained. "Bill Barr decided to tell the truth about that and that made Donald Trump mad."