AUSTIN, TX – Governor Abbott expressed his disapproval on Monday after it was announced the FBI will be vetting all National Guard Troops deployed to Washington D.C. for the inauguration ceremony.
Earlier this week the Department of Defense announced on Twitter the vetting would take place of all security personnel.
“As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, DC. While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the Capitol," said Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller. "This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case, the scope of military participation is unique.”
The significant increase in personnel and security measures has been in response to the pro-Trump mob that overtook the Capitol building on January 6th and other potential threats that have been identified by law enforcement.
According to Abbott, the notion of vetting is offensive.
"No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard," stated Abbott in a Tweet. "I authorized more than 1,000 to go to DC. I'll never do it again if they are disrespected like this."
Nearly 25,000 guardsmen are expected to be at the nation's capital from all 50 states.
Major General William J. Walker, who is in charge of the D.C. National Guard, explained the enhanced screening.
"What happens is they're screened before they leave their state and what it is a credentialing process so they're screened and they're repeatedly screened until they are actually put on the street," said Walker. "No, it's all about the background. So, a regular background check is enhanced with more screening, more details and it's layered so the FBI is part of it, the Secret Service is part of it and once they are certain that there's no insider threat then that soldier, guardsman, or airman is given a credential,"
According to Acting Secretary Miller, those deployed will also receive more training in preparation for the inauguration.
“The D.C. National Guard is also providing additional training to service members as they arrive in D.C. that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command," said Miller. "We appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their Nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the NCR.”