Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser sidestepped questions Sunday about the city’s apparent lack of preparedness before a mob of protesters stormed the US Capitol, leaving five dead.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Bowser denied that her Jan. 5 letter to federal authorities saying the city did not want additional law enforcement played a role in DC getting caught off guard the following day.
“What I know is that just prior to that we already requested federal support and it was granted in the form of the DC national guard, and the DC national guard had been deployed and received its assignment,” the mayor said.
“That letter called attention to the federal government for other federal policing agencies, and asked the federal government to coordinate with us if they were going to be on DC streets,” she said.
“That letter has nothing to do with the capitol or other federal facilities.”
But Bowser dodged the question when asked why the Jan. 4 arrest of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio — who had two high-capacity firearm magazines when busted in DC — didn’t do more to put cops on alert for potential violence.
“Well certainly we were on the lookout for weapons and we saw him with these magazines that could carry bullets,” was all Bowser said.
“But we’re always on the lookout for weapons and in fact the demonstration zone that we established prior to this event, we made clear to anyone in the public that they couldn’t carry weapons in those zones,” she added.
Asked if the feds should have provided more warning, she said: “I think that we always work hand in hand on these events, as we will on the inauguration, on gathering intelligence. Certainly we gather intelligence locally, but the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have vast resources and the ability to keep us posted each and every day.”
Capitol police were overwhelmed when hundreds of rioters who were at a President Trump rally near the White House marched on the Capitol.
Police were quickly overrun by the mob, which stormed inside the historic building, interrupting a Congressional vote to certify Trump’s election loss to former Vice President Joe Biden.
The siege put the nation’s capital on lockdown.
Among those killed was Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was attacked with a fire extinguisher and died the following day.