WATCH: Top military officials clash at Capitol riot hearing over whether Pentagon was concerned with ‘optics’
Armed US National Guard troops deployed around the US Capitol (AFP)

Two witnesses gave differing accounts on Wednesday over whether the Pentagon delayed sending the National Guard to the United States Capitol building because it was concerned about optics.

During a Senate hearing on the January 6th Capitol riots, General of the District of Columbia National Guard William Walker testified that Army Lieutenant General Charles Flynn -- the brother of former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn -- and Lieutenant General Walter Piatt were concerned about the optics of sending the National Guard to help defend Congress from pro-Trump rioters who had stormed the Capitol building.

But Robert Salesses, who currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense & Global Security, contradicted Walker's testimony just minutes later.

"General Piatt told me yesterday he didn't say anything about optics," Salesses said.

Walker, however, did not back down from his testimony.

"There were people in the room with me on that call that heard what they heard," he insisted.

Watch the video below.