The suggestion that any troop who didn’t vote for President-elect Joe Biden could be planning a so-called insider attack is “pretty outrageous,” Georgia’s governor said Tuesday.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) during an appearance on CNN the day prior claimed that the National Guard is “predominately conservative” and said he estimated 75 percent of guardsmen in Washington didn’t vote for Biden and are thus “in the large class of folks that might want to do something.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Fox News’ “The Story” that he saw the clip.
“I thought to myself, ‘That’s pretty outrageous,'” Kemp said, recalling how the Georgia National Guard troops guarding the State Capitol over the summer “was as diverse a group as you’ve ever seen in your life, and they were there to do one thing and that was to follow orders, to protect the Capitol and protect property in the city of Atlanta and state assets at that time.”
“These are good people. These are great patriots,” he added, touting troops’ help in COVID-19 vaccine administration and handling food during the pandemic.
Cohen’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment. Pressed on whether he had evidence to back up his suggestion while on CNN, Cohen said he did not.
All National Guard personnel in Washington securing the city for Biden’s inauguration were being vetted, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said this week. Twelve troops were pulled from duty, 10 because of the vetting, officials said Tuesday.
“We’re not taking any chances. Anything flags, there’s any reason that somebody’s name is brought to the attention of the command? They’re being removed from the line. We’ll ask questions later,” Pentagon press secretary Jonathan Hoffman told reporters in Washington.
Kemp told Fox that he believed the vetting was “a normal process” but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presented it as an affront, vowing not to send Texas National Guard troops to Washington in the future if they “are disrespected like this.”