National Guard troops to take back seat as Trump addresses supporters rallying to his call to overturn the election – Washington Examiner

Posted: January 9, 2021 at 3:05 am

TRUMPS DESPERATE ENDGAME: With the Senate poised to possibly flip to the Democrats and Congress set to certify President-elect Joe Bidens 306-232 Electoral College win later today, President Trump is mounting a final rearguard assault on the constitutional process and will tell thousands of supporters rallying near the White House this morning that he expects Vice President Mike Pence to deliver the victory to him.

In a statement last night, Trump denied reports that Pence had rebuffed his entreaties to intervene to stop Biden from taking office and insisted Pence can act on his behalf. The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act, he said, calling election returns in contested states corrupt and illegal.

Trump said Pence could either send some results back to states for review or simply decertify the results and throw the election to the House of Representatives, where Republicans would have the advantage because each state gets only one vote. Even Trumps own lawyers say that would be unconstitutional.

THE ANGRY CROWD: President Trump has promised to address his supporters personally later this morning at a "March to Save America" rally just south of the White House.

I will be speaking at the SAVE AMERICA RALLY tomorrow on the Ellipse at 11AM Eastern. Arrive early doors open at 7AM Eastern. BIG CROWDS! he tweeted.

Yesterday, hundreds of supporters gathered in Freedom Plaza many without masks and stayed into the night as temperatures dropped to the low 40s and a steady rain fell.

Among the speakers was former national security adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn recently pardoned by Trump, who told the crowd, We stand at a crucible moment in United States history.

The rally opened with one speaker shouting F--- ANTIFA for several minutes, long attacks on George Soros, unspecified links to Hugo Chavez and U.S. democracy, and lots of COVID-19 deniers, reported Tom Squitieri of Talk Media News. Who here is up to the task of not wearing a mask? ... Jesus is king and its time to let freedom ring, one speaker goaded, as he gave website directions for anti-COVID wonder drugs and urged the crowd to hug each other, he reported.

UNARMED, CLEARLY MARKED: Meanwhile, the 340 D.C. National Guard troops requested by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser are taking great pains to avoid the confusion of last June, when various law enforcement personnel wore military-style camouflage as they moved against mostly peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square. Many observers thought the Guard had moved against their fellow citizens.

A video released by the Guard shows the troops in support of local police, helping to direct traffic and control crowds, and importantly sporting black identification vests that clearly identify them as National Guard, including their names. The black identification vest is not body armor nor a tactical vest, the Guard said in a statement.

And they are unarmed and not equipped with riot shields or batons. We've explicitly been told there is no weaponry of any kind for this mission, a Guard spokesman told the Washington Examiners Abraham Mahshie. If anything came to that, yes, they would have to facilitate transportation back to the armory.

ANTIFA THE REAL PROBLEM: While half-a-dozen protesters were arrested yesterday on various charges, including possession of guns and ammunition and in one case, assaulting a police officer, the White House issued a statement which made no mention of the armed supporters clashing with local police, instead accusing antifa activists, who werent there, of domestic terrorism.

Despite the lack of any significant counterprotesters, the statement from press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump has signed a memorandum to ensure that Federal officials assess actions of Antifa activists in light of Federal laws that restrict the entry of aliens associated with terrorist organizations and aliens intent on criminal activity.

President Trump will not allow Antifa, or any terrorist organization, to destroy our great country, she said.

Good Wednesday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyres Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Victor I. Nava. Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at DailyonDefense.com. If signing up doesnt work, shoot us an email and well add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.

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HAPPENING TODAY: WILL HE OR WONT HE? There will be high drama at this afternoons joint session of Congress to certify Joe Bidens win. The big question: How will Mike Pence, serving in his role as president of the Senate, handle what could be the final loyalty test from Trump.

Pence has a largely ceremonial role, opening the sealed envelopes from the states after they are carried in mahogany boxes used for the occasion, and reading the results aloud, noted the Associated Press. But he is under growing pressure from Trump to tip it to the presidents favor, despite having no power to affect the outcome.

Trump tweeted this morning: If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency.

VETERANS DEADLIEST FOE: We learned this week from the Department of Veterans Affairs (first reported by Military Times) that the number of veterans who have died from COVID-19 has now surpassed total military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

The latest figures on the VA website show 6,929 deaths, compared to 6,756 military deaths from Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003 to 2010) and Operation Enduring Freedom (2001 to 2014).

This is obviously a national crisis and one that extends far beyond the veteran community. But the effects on Americas veterans are emblematic of the deteriorating situation and also indicative of where a well-led Department of Veterans Affairs could be contributing to the national recovery, said Jeremy Butler, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Those hardest hit by the pandemic are elderly, those in nursing homes, those with co-morbidities and minorities all demographics that are widely represented by the nations veteran community.

MORE BIDEN PICKS: President-elect Biden plans to nominate Wendy Sherman, the chief U.S. negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal, to be deputy secretary of state, according to published reports.

The No. 3 job at the State Department is expected to go to former department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, who served under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A former Washington Post reporter, Jon Finer is in line to be deputy national security adviser, according to the Washington Post, citing two people familiar with the decision. Finer is a former director of policy planning at State.

Former Brookings Institution fellow Amanda Sloat, who was deputy assistant secretary of state for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, is reportedly Bidens pick for senior director for Europe on the NSC, says Politico, which was first to report the potential nominations.

CHINA RAIDS: China has conducted a massive round-up of roughly 50 pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, making the arrests under a new national security law, in what many see as a sign of Beijings willingness to crush opposition forces in the former British colony.

Chairman Xi sees a divided and distracted America, and he isnt wasting the moment, said Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a self-described China hawk, in a statement. These despicable raids expose the Chinese Communist Party for the cowardly dictators they are.

Those targeted appeared to include all candidates who had run in an unofficial opposition primary last year ahead of an expected election for Hong Kongs legislature, reported the Associated Press.

HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS? President Trumps top border official says the president fulfilled a promise to install 450 miles of border wall along the U.S.-Mexico boundary by the end of 2020. But upon closer examination, the actual figure for new border barriers is closer to 40 miles.

The construction represents a partial fulfillment of Trump's campaign promises, reports Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner Homeland Security Reporter. Trump vowed as a candidate to put up 1,000 miles of wall on the nearly 2,000-mile border, which stretches from the Pacific Coast in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. He also said he would get it done for $4 billion. To date, 738 miles of border wall has been funded for $15 billion. Four hundred and fifty miles of the 738 have been completed.

But Giaritelli notes, More than 340 miles of the 450 total newly installed miles are in the place of older fencing, while 40 miles are brand new in previously unsecured areas. The remaining 50-plus miles are secondary fencing or duplicate barriers put up behind the main fence.

STANDOFF NUKE NEEDED: The Heritage Foundation is out this morning with an analysis of the need for the U.S. to modernize its nuclear air-launched cruise missile to sustain the air leg of the nuclear triad.

Patty-Jane Geller, whose portfolio at Heritage is nuclear deterrence and missile defense, argues that fielding the Long-Range Standoff Weapon, or LRSO, will help deter adversaries and assure allies.

The LRSO will also contribute to both the credibility of U.S. deterrence and the United States extended deterrence commitments to allies and provide a hedge against both technical failure as well as an uncertain geopolitical environment, she writes.

Key points:

Washington Examiner: DC National Guard will be unarmed for Electoral College protests after George Floyd failures

Washington Examiner: Trump hits 450-mile goal for 2020 border wall construction

Washington Examiner: Iran submits second Interpol request to arrest Trump

Washington Examiner: SolarWinds hack likely an active Russian intelligence-gathering effort, US spy agencies say

Washington Examiner: China tightens censorship rules despite pandemic backlash

USNI News: Hospital Ship USNS Mercy Tied Up in Maintenance, Cant Deploy for COVID Relief

AP: Kim opens North Korean congress by admitting policy failures

Reuters: China Says It Will Respond To Planned Taiwan, U.S. Defense Talks

Air Force Magazine: STRATCOM Welcomes Nuke Review, but Says Minuteman III Life Extension Should Not be Considered

USNI News: STRATCOM: U.S. Needs Broader-Based Strategic Review To Assess Threats

Breaking Defense: Navy Secretary: US Weighing Patrols Near Russian Arctic Bases

Wall Street Journal: Russias Neighbors Rebuild Defenses

Reuters: China Urges Calm And Restraint After Iran Enrichment Announcement

Washington Post: Iran: Seizure of S. Korean Tanker Is Not Hostage-Taking

Navy Times: SECNAV Not Sure When Nimitz Strike Group Will Come Home

Bloomberg: Pentagon Gets Diversity Watchdog In Bill Passed Over Trump Veto

Washington Post: Trumps Final Efforts To Overturn Election Create Discomfort For The Military

Newport News Daily Press: Navy SEAL Team 6 Member To Plead Guilty In Death Of Green Beret

Just the News: First female Green Beret charged in Colorado with accidentally shooting into neighbor's apartment

Forbes: Opinion: Why Getting Rid Of U.S. ICBMs Could Make Nuclear War More Likely

Bloomberg: Opinion: James Stavridis: Irans Provocations Are A Warning Shot To Biden

WEDNESDAY | JANUARY 6

11 a.m. Washington Post Live "New Government" webinar on "critical issues facing America, with former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel; and former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners. https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live

12 p.m. Hudson Institute webinar: U.S.-India Defense Ties: Partnership of the 21st Century, with former Indian Integrated Defense Staff Chief Vice Adm. Shekhar Sinha; Abhijnan Rej, security and defense editor at the Diplomat and director of research at Diplomat Risk Intelligence; and Aparna Pande, director of the Hudson Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia. https://www.hudson.org/events

1 p.m. Senate Chamber House and Senate meet in a joint session to count electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election.

4:30 p.m. Intelligence National Security Alliance virtual discussion: The Space Force's intelligence priorities, with Air Force Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, Space Force director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. https://www.insaonline.org/event

THURSDAY | JANUARY 7

1 p.m. Center for the National Interest webinar: Facing the Realities of International Cyber Conflict, with Milt Bearden, distinguished non-resident fellow at the Center for the National Interest; George Beebe vice president and director of studies at the Center for the National Interest; Paul Kolbe, director of the Intelligence Project at Harvard Universitys Belfer Center; and former Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim, vice chairman of the Center for the National Interest. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register

1 p.m. Atlantic Council webinar: Women's Gains in Afghanistan: Supporting Economic Opportunities for Afghan Women as a Driver of Peace and Security, with Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Kelley Currie; Brig. Gen. Kimberly Colloton, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers; Connie Duckworth, chairman and CEO of ARZU Inc.; Razia Jan, founder and CEO of Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation; and Sara Greengrass, executive director of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event

5 p.m. George Mason University National Security Institute NatSec Nightcap with Amb. Rosemary Banks, New Zealand Ambassador to the U.S.; and Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director, National Security Institute. https://nationalsecurity.gmu.edu/natsec-nightcap

FRIDAY | JANUARY 8

9 a.m. Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion: Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems: The Path Forward, with Army Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, deputy director of Force Protection (J-8) Joint Staff; Nicole Thomas, division chief for strategy and policy at the Joint C-sUAS Office; and Tom Karako, director of the CSIS Missile Defense Project. https://www.csis.org/events

10 a.m. Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies virtual discussion: Did Russia just attack the U.S.? How should the Biden Administration respond? A conversation about the SolarWinds Hack, with Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University and author of "Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare"; and Eliot Cohen, SAIS dean. https://sais.jhu.edu/campus-events

This nation has never before had to face the prospect of two peer, nuclear-capable adversaries who have to be deterred differently, and actions done to deter one have an impact on the other This is way more complicated than it used to be.

U.S. Strategic Commander Adm. Chas Richard, on the nuclear challenges posed by Russia and China.

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National Guard troops to take back seat as Trump addresses supporters rallying to his call to overturn the election - Washington Examiner

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