(CNN) — The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Wednesday that Donald Trump has a duty to fire his supporters in light of a possible threat against the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, less than two months after the insurrection of January 6 in the Capitol, incited by the former president.
“I think that he [ex]President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down; This threat is credible, it’s real, ”Rep. Michael McCaul told CNN’s Jake Tapper on The Lead, from CNN, when asked if Trump should more strongly dismiss the idea that he could still be inaugurated on March 4.
“It is a group of right-wing militias who believe that the original day – because the original inauguration day was March 4 until before the 20th Amendment was passed – they believe that this is the true inauguration day. and that President Trump should take office [este jueves]. And that’s the threat we face now, ”the Texas Republican continued.
McCaul’s message to Trump comes as information provided by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned of increased talk among extremists, including members of the extremist group Three Percenters, discussing possible plots against the Capitol on March 4, a date that conspiracy theorists have focused on, according to sources familiar with the matter.
QAnon conspiracy theorists believe Trump will take office on March 4 and return him to the presidency. Between 1793 and 1933, the presidential inauguration was often held on March 4 or a nearby date.
After rioters in January stormed the Capitol complex and threatened the lives of lawmakers in an effort to impede the ceremonial recount of electoral votes in Congress, it took Trump several hours to encourage his supporters to “go home in peace ”, a tweet that came at the behest of his top advisers.
While the U.S. Capitol was under attack, Trump also said the rioters cared more about the election results than Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy in an expletive phone call. Congressional Republicans told CNN last month that the exchange showed that Trump had no intention of firing the rioters, even as lawmakers begged him to intervene, with several saying that amounted to a abandonment of his presidential duty.
McCaul told Tapper on Wednesday that the police are “absolutely” more prepared this time than they were on January 6.
“The Capitol is fortified as a complex,” he said. “We have barbed wire around the Capitol complex, we have the National Guard surrounding the Capitol, so we feel a lot safer.”
Threats to the Capitol
Security officials have quickly shared updates on Thursday’s potential threat. Acting Chief of Security and Protocol, Timothy P. Blodgett, sent a letter to members, dated March 1, when he said that the United States Capitol Police had received “no indication” that there are groups traveling to Washington to protest “or commit acts of violence.”
But his stance changed dramatically in a letter sent to members on Wednesday, stating that the Capitol Police have “received disturbing new information and intelligence indicating additional interest in the Capitol for the dates of March 4-6 from of a group of militias ».
Yoganada Pittman, acting chief of the Capitol Police Department, told Congress that her department has “troubling intelligence” about the next few days in Congress, but declined to share it in a public hearing Wednesday morning.
The Department is in an “enhanced” security posture and the National Guard and Capitol Police Force have been told what to expect in the coming days, Pittman told lawmakers, stating that the Department is “working with all of our law enforcement partners in the Capitol region to make sure that all the intelligence we have and threats to campus, that we are prepared to respond appropriately.
The FBI said in a statement that “while our standard practice is not to comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is constantly collecting and sharing intelligence with our law enforcement partners. We are always on the alert for any potential threat.
Even as security increases, law enforcement officials say it is not clear that the discussion has gone beyond talks between members of extremist groups. One source told CNN that these are primarily online conversations and not necessarily an indication that someone is going to Washington to act on it.
But lawmakers are still taking precautions.
– CNN’s Whitney Wild, Jim Sciutto, Jamie Gangel, Kevin Liptak, Michael Warren and Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism