Sounding more like a conspiracy theorist than a federal lawmaker, Tennessee Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen raised concerns Monday about the National Guard troops protecting Washington, D.C., ahead of Inauguration Day.
Cohen talked on CNN about how voting demographics may influence the National Guard’s ability to objectively handle any threats.
“The [National] Guard is 90-some-odd percent I believe male, only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden. You gotta figure that in the Guard — which is predominantly more conservative, and I see that on my social media and we know it — there are probably not more than 25 percent of the people that are there protecting us who voted for Biden,” Cohen said.
“The other 75 percent are in the class that would be the marginalized folks who might want to do something. And there were military people and police who took oaths to defend the Constitution and to protect and defend that didn’t do it who were in the insurrection. So it does concern me,” he continued.
Rep. Steve Cohen implies that 75% of the National Guard are in the class of people who “may want to do something” at the inauguration.
Cohen is saying that National Guard troops who voted for Trump should automatically be suspected of being threats. pic.twitter.com/6ozID4y9ry
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) January 18, 2021
A perplexed host Jim Sciutto fired back at Cohen, accusing him of making a heaping generalization.
“But that’s far — to have voted for Trump does not make you an insider threat,” he said. “I mean that’s far different from being a threat of violence inside, whether the National Guard or law enforcement. I’m curious, is there anything you’ve seen to substantiate just how broad this insider threat may be? If it exists?”
The congressman admitted that there was no evidence to back up his suggestion that members of the National Guard who voted Republican would be a legitimate threat, but then doubled down on the claim.
“Absolutely not Jim, but you draw circles first. The first circle is people who were for Trump and not for Biden as far as people who would be within the zone of folks you’d be suspect of.”
Townhall Media editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich slammed Cohen’s comments, suggesting that National Guard members might be wasting their time if there is partisan politics clouding their efforts.
“You know, if Democrats are going to do this to the National Guard then maybe they should just go home,” she tweeted.
You know, if Democrats are going to do this to the National Guard then maybe they should just go home https://t.co/wCGWuRxRbk
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 18, 2021
The number of National Guard troops in the area should raise alarm, but the vast majority of these men and women can certainly be trusted.
For extra measures, the FBI announced it was vetting all 25,000 of them to assure that there would be no threat of an inside attack, which should ease Cohen’s concerns.
He should consider figures like Dan Bongino, a conservative personality who served as part of former President Barack Obama’s Secret Service detail.
Bongino was vocal about his views after serving, but never let his personal beliefs conflict with his ability to faithfully execute his job.
Peddling conspiracy theories about servicemen and women’s individual political views will only foment further distrust in our institutions at a time when many Americans fear a follow-up incident after the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
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