The U.S. Capitol complex, home to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, was placed under tight security that includes a perimeter fence after a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the building in a Jan. 6 riot that left five people dead, including a police officer.
About 5,200 National Guard soldiers currently patrol the area. Their mission was originally due to end on Friday. But the Pentagon, which is reducing their number to 2,300, has agreed to extend their mission for an additional two months at the request of the U.S. Capitol Police.
U.S. security agencies warned last week that "militia violent extremists" discussed plans in February to "take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers" on March 4, a date deemed significant by adherents to the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory. But only a smattering of QAnon followers gathered on that day.
"I just checked early this morning. There have been no serious threats against the Capitol. I think we're way overreacting," McConnell said.
MITCH MCCONNELL: On the need for the Guard here, I think we've overdone it. There are no serious-- I just checked early this morning. There have been no serious threats against the Capitol. I think we're way overreacting to the current need. And much like the $1.9 trillion, looking back at what happened January 6, rather than where we are now.
I'm extremely uncomfortable with the fact that my constituents can't come to the Capitol with all this razor wire around the complex. It reminds me of my last visit to Kabul. This is the [? Capitol ?] of the United States of America. Do we need some changes? We probably do. But I think we are continuing to overreact, based on current threat levels, to what is needed here at the Capitol. It looks terrible to have the beacon of our democracy surrounded by razor wire and National Guard troops.