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Two of 12 National Guardsmen removed from inauguration duties allegedly had ties to extremists

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Twelve Army National Guard members have been removed from inauguration duty in Washington, DC.   Two allegedly had ties to right-wing extremists.

The New York Times quotes Defense Department officials who say the two made inappropriate comments or sent inappropriate texts.  The others were removed for unrelated reasons.  Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson told reporters they were identified and removed “out of an abundance of caution.”

About 25,000 National Guard troops are in Washington, DC ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“If you look at 25,000, we’ve had 12 identified and some of those they’re just looking into.  It may be unrelated to this, but we want to make sure out of an abundance of caution, as I stated earlier, that we do the right thing until that gets cleared up,” he told reporters.

Col. Michael Dugas, Provost Marshal, National Guard Bureau told  CNN that the troops go through basic vetting for high profile events.

“There’s a program that’s in place to continue vetting,  to make sure that we maintain our security clearances,” said Dugas.  They also want to make sure that the National Guard members are not involved in “any type of nefarious activities.”

He acknowledged that this inauguration is unprecedented.  They’ve never had this many troops providing security for a Presidential Inauguration.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says on twitter that the FBI vetting of the troops was “the most offensive thing” he’s ever heard of.

“No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard,” the governor tweeted.  “I authorized more than 1,000 to go to DC.  I’ll never do it again if they are disrespected like this.”




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