WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The nation’s capital is on lockdown. With just days to go until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Washington, D.C. is stepping up security.
Thousands of National Guard troops stand ready to protect the presidential swearing-in. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy approved bringing in 21,000 Guard members, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
“I think this is probably the safest place in the country to be right now,” Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) said Wednesday.
“These violent far-right-wing White Supremacists will come back with guns,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said.
President Donald Trump said in a statement Wednesday he opposes violence. Later, after being impeached for a second time, Trump released a video address and said, “I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week.”
President Trump told his supporters to avoid violence in the days ahead.
“It must stop,” he said.
But Washington isn’t taking any chances. Members of the National Guard are already securing the area around the Capitol and their numbers are only expected to increase in the days ahead.
“As the president made clear yesterday, we are committed to an orderly transition and to a safe inauguration,” Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday afternoon.
The vice president was briefed on inauguration safety by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Nearly 200 agencies have come together to ensure the security, the safety of government officials, facilities and the general public,” FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor said.