Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered the return of the Texas National Guard late Thursday evening after troops were forced to evacuate the Capitol building grounds over an alleged mask complaint from a Democrat congressman.
“I have instructed General Norris to order the return of the Texas National Guard to our state,” Abbott announced Thursday.
The announcement followed pictures and videos showing troops hanging out in a parking garage — something that reportedly occurred after Democrat Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) issued a complaint about a maskless National Guardsman in a cafe in the building.
As Breitbart News reported:
After Keating commented out loud that masks were required to be worn at all times in a federal building, the National Guard member responded, “I appreciate my freedom,” according to the source.
National Guard commanders are now looking for the National Guard member, according to the source.
Breitbart News reviewed communications by National Guard officials regarding the situation with Keating:
And if you want to use the bathroom, well pic.twitter.com/YXLawaqA0Q
— Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) January 22, 2021
I just visited the solders who have been abandoned & insulted by our leaders. I brought them pizza and told them that they can sleep in my office.
No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress
Our Troops deserve better. pic.twitter.com/4attFqhRRJ
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) January 22, 2021
Roughly 25,000 National Guard troops arrived in D.C. to assist local authorities for President Biden’s inauguration. The Texas governor released a pointed response following reports that the FBI vetted National Guardsmen ahead of Inauguration Day over concerns of an inside attack, despite the absence of a viable threat.
“This is the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard. No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard,” Abbott said two days before the inauguration, explaining that he authorized more than 1,000 to go to the nation’s capital.
“I’ll never do it again if they are disrespected like this,” the Republican governor promised:
This is the most offensive thing I've ever heard.
No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard. @TexasGuard
I authorized more than 1,000 to go to DC.
I'll never do it again if they are disrespected like this.https://t.co/STZDMz7PGm
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 19, 2021
At the time, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller admitted officials lacked any intelligence “indicating an insider threat.”
On his first day as president, Biden signed an executive order mandating masks on federal property but subsequently broke his own rule on more than one occasion — at the Lincoln Memorial, alongside his family, and at the White House.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed questions regarding Biden’s violation, ultimately telling reporters that “we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time.”