Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the January 6 attack on the Capitol was “instigated” by President Donald Trump and criticized him for telling the “big lie” in the election fueled on November 3rd, it was stolen from him.
“He did not say what would be most helpful, namely that he lost the election fair and the square and that it is time for a peaceful change of power, as is the great tradition of our country,” said Napolitano, who was from 2009 to 2013 Minister of Homeland Security. “… He did not realize that some of this violence was fueled by the so-called ‘big lie’ and he is the main proponent of it.”
An internal security report released in 2009 warned that right-wing extremism was on the rise and could lead to violence. There have been calls for Napolitano to resign, and she had to apologize for part of that report that said extremists might try to attract veterans. Napolitano said host Shepard Smith during an interview on Tuesday evening that white nationalists had only become more dangerous since the report.
“I think that assessment was generally correct at the time and it has proven to be correct in the following years and certainly in the last four years and certainly in the last few weeks,” said Napolitano. “We saw a surge in these right-wing nationalist groups, fueled in part by social media and social media messaging, and actually instigated on the 6th, in my view, by the president.”
There are growing concerns about an insider attack involving US soldiers charged with securing the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The FBI is taking no chances and is reviewing the 25,000 National Guard troops who will be present at the inauguration.
According to a Pentagon spokesman, twelve members of the National Guard have since been expelled from Biden’s inauguration following the FBI investigation. Officials say two of the National Guard forces were flagged for “inappropriate” comments and text, while the other ten were removed for “various reasons”.
Napolitano said the security level in the Capitol was “necessary” because of the January 6 riot, but the measures would result in a “very uneventful day of inauguration”.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct a quote mapping.