Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says he finds it “offensive” that the FBI is vetting National Guard members, including those from Texas, in Washington ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
“No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard,” Abbott wrote in a tweet Monday night.
There are approximately 25,000 National Guard members in Washington to secure the inauguration, including about 1,000 from Texas, in response to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Abbott wrote he would not deploy the Texas National Guard to Washington again if they are vetted ahead of the inauguration.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches.
So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues that they were aware of.
In a situation like this one, FBI vetting would involve running peoples’ names through databases and watchlists maintained by the bureau to see if anything alarming comes up, according to The Associated Press. That could include involvement in prior investigations or terrorism-related concerns, said David Gomez, a former FBI national security supervisor in Seattle.