RETRACTION, Jan. 28, 2021: The Western Journal reached out to both the marketing department of the Trump International Hotel in D.C. and the Trump political organization. Neither entity was able or willing to provide an on-the-record comment regarding the claim made by OAN’s article. As both organizations would seem to have reasonable motivations to publicize such an offer if Trump had made it, we are forced to conclude that it is more likely than not that the information in that article is erroneous. We are therefore retracting this commentary, which was sourced solely on OAN’s reporting.
Former President Donald Trump stepped in to save the day on Friday, offering shelter for thousands of displaced National Guard troops in Washington, D.C., after they were forced outside of the U.S. Capitol, according to a report.
The troops were sent to Washington to protect Congress and President Joe Biden against alleged threats during Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony.
Officials at the Capitol eventually determined there was not enough room to house the soldiers, leaving them with nowhere to go — until Trump stepped in, that is.
Although no longer president, Trump did what he could to set things right, according to a report from One America News Network.
Trump gave the thousands of National Guard troops permission to stay at his luxury Trump Hotel, an adviser told OAN.
Trump’s generous offer reportedly came only a day after multiple reports showed as many as 5,000 guardsmen had been told to stay in an underground parking garage.
National Guard soldiers mobilized for inauguration security have been moved from the Capitol to sleep in a nearby parking garage, which is still in use by vehicles. It’s cold, full of car exhaust, and has one bathroom https://t.co/FzboPgZTvy
— John Ismay (@johnismay) January 22, 2021
“National Guard soldiers mobilized for inauguration security have been moved from the Capitol to sleep in a nearby parking garage, which is still in use by vehicles. It’s cold, full of car exhaust, and has one bathroom,” New York Times reporter John Ismay tweeted Thursday.
Here’s a video from the parking garage where 5,000 members of the National Guard who were guarding the Capitol are being forced to stay. pic.twitter.com/bREUxt1tRi
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 22, 2021
“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage …” one Guardsman said https://t.co/2QneUNtBDe pic.twitter.com/Q8lZzP7hHV
— POLITICO (@politico) January 22, 2021
One guardsman told Politico he felt “incredibly betrayed” when troops were “banished … to the corner of a parking garage” once it was reportedly determined there was not enough space at the Capitol for those assigned to protect it.
“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed,” the guardsman said.
Guardsmen were never needed at the Capitol.
They were merely put forward as a political prop for “taking photos and shaking hands,” as the unnamed guardsman said.
Additionally, their presence seems to be meant to signal that the Capitol incursion was much more insidious than it actually was.
Sure, the riot that took place at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was awful, but the recent suggestions made by many in Congress that the majority pro-Trump mob was some sort of terrorist group attempting to overthrow the government is absolutely ridiculous.
If the Capitol police had just done their jobs in the first place, the incursion never would have happened.
Thankfully, even though he’s no longer in office, Donald Trump was reportedly willing to clean up yet another mess created by our government.
UPDATE, Jan. 27, 2021: On Jan. 26, the fact-checking outlet PolitiFact published an article saying there is “No evidence Trump offered his hotel to National Guard members in parking garages” and rating that claim “false.”
“The Trump International Hotel in Washington, a one-mile walk from the Capitol, did not reply to our email and call,” the outlet said. “But National Guard spokesperson Nahaku McFadden told PolitiFact that the Guard is ‘unaware if this offer was made.’ No Guard members stayed at the Trump hotel, and all had other accommodations for when they were off duty, McFadden said.”
It may very well be true that no Guard members stayed at the Trump hotel, or that the National Guard was “unaware” of the former president’s reported offer. However, even if both of those things are true, that does not preclude the possibility that Trump did indeed offer members of the National Guard a place to stay, whether through official channels or in a more informal manner. PolitiFact claims it was not able to find “evidence” supporting this possibility, but the outlet’s inability to find evidence in no way makes the claim “false.” In fact, The Western Journal cited evidence for the claim in the form of what One American News Network said was an adviser to the former president.
The Western Journal did not treat OAN’s article as fact, but rather as a report that we were unable to independently verify, which it still is today. However, PolitiFact’s inability to uncover evidence corroborating it does not in and of itself make OAN’s reporting “false.”
For these reasons, our original commentary remains as published.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.