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Castro recounts pleas for National Guard reinforcements during the insurrection

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Rep. Joaquin Castro recalled then-President Trump’s refusal to send additional help to Capitol Police during the Jan. 6 insurrection, two hours into the riot, despite multiple pleas to do so.

Video Transcript

JOAQUIN CASTRO: According to reports, quote, "Trump initially rebuffed requests to mobilize the National Guard and required interference by other officials, including his own White House counsel." And later, quote, "As a mob of Trump supporters breached police barricades and seized the Capitol," Trump reportedly was, quote, "disengaged in discussions with Pentagon leaders about deploying the National Guard to aid the overwhelmed US Capitol Police." President Trump was reportedly, and I quote, "completely, totally out of it." He made no attempt to reach the National Guard, and it was Vice President Pence, still under the threat for his life, who reportedly spoke to the Guard.

President Trump's conduct confirms this too. At no point on January 6 did Donald Trump even reference the National Guard. The only thing that we heard connecting the president to the Guard was from his press secretary, who tweeted about the Guard being deployed at the president's direction over half an hour later, at 3:36 PM.

And we have seen what Donald Trump does when he tries to take credit for something. And yet, even when the National Guard was finally deployed, he didn't even acknowledge it. In fact, he didn't say a word about the National Guard the entire day. Think about that. The bloodiest attack we've seen on our Capitol since 1812, and our president couldn't be bothered to even mention that help was on its way.

These insurgents had been attacking our government for over four hours by that point. And we may have been the target, but it was the brave men and women who protect our Capitol who were out there combating thousands of armed insurgents in a fight for their lives. And that's who Donald Trump left entirely unprotected.

[VIDEO PLAYBACK]

- Hold the line. Let's get them.

[YELLING]

- Hold the line. Hold the line.

[YELLING]

[END PLAYBACK]

JOAQUIN CASTRO: And this is hard to watch. But I think it's important we understand what the Capitol Police were facing, how severely they were outnumbered while our commander in chief, whose job it was to protect and defend them, was just watching, doing nothing for hours, refusing to send help. If he wanted to protect these officers, if he cared about their safety as he tweeted about, he would have told his supporters to leave, he would have sent help right away.

And one brave officer was killed. Others took their lives after the attack. More than 140 police officers were injured, including cracked ribs, smashed spinal disks. One officer will lose an eye. Another was stabbed with a metal fence stake.

They were completely and violently overwhelmed by a mob and needed help. And our commander in chief, President Trump, refused to send it.