Twelve U.S. Army National Guard members have been removed from the presidential inauguration security mission after they were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or posted extremist views. (Jan. 19)
DANIEL HOKANSON: With respect to comments about extremism, let me be clear. Extremism is not tolerated in any branch of the United States military. If there are reported issues, our leaders will address them immediately in accordance with established department policies and in coordination with law enforcement. There's 10 that were identified by the FBI. And I can't speak to the level of vetting that they do, but I know they said it's a standard they do for all inaugurations for participants. With the other two, they're separate from those 10, for a total of 12. One was identified by the chain of command and another was identified through anonymous reporting.
JONATHAN HOFFMAN: So I don't want to speak for the vetting that's underway, but if our law enforcement partners flag an individual based on their determination that they see something and they pass it to us, we're not even asking what the flag was. We're just removing them. So I can't speak for that. Within the ranks, I think that what we've seen is inappropriate comments and texts, have been it. I don't think that we have a handbook on what our thresholds for inappropriateness. At this point, we are just taking action to remove individuals if there is some indication that would indicate that they should not be here at this time.
This is obviously an unusual situation in which it is all hands on deck. And we're leaving no stone unturned. But we are confident that there will be no opportunity to identify any potential threat left [? done. ?] And so we're going to do all. We're going to partner with the Secret Service and the FBI and others to ensure that we're all doing everything we can. We're all run in the same direction. And that is to ensure that the President-elect and the Vice President-elect have a safe and secure inauguration tomorrow at 12:00 noon.