Democrat Representative Steve Cohen perpetuated the conspiracy theory that Trump-supporting National Guard members are a threat to the Biden inauguration.
Speaking to Jim Sciutto on CNN, Cohen brought up the assassinations of previous political leaders, such as Anwar Sadat, and Indira Gandhi, who Cohen noted “were killed by their own people,” and claimed he was concerned about actions being taken by the National Guard at the inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday:
I was thinking the guard is 90 some odd percent male, only about 20% of white males voted for Biden. You gotta figure that the guard which is predominantly more conservative and I see that on my social media and you know it, there’s probably not more than 25% of the people who are protecting us who voted for Biden. The other 75% are in the… large class of folks who might want to do something. And there are military people and police who took oaths to defend the Constitution and to protect and defend who didn’t do it who were in the insurrection. So it does concern me, but the vetting at the last minute…
Sciutto questioned Cohen as to whether he had actually seen anything that could “substantiate just how broad this insider threat may be if it exists,” and pointed out that voting for Trump does not make you an “insurrectionist.”
Cohen replied that he had absolutely zero evidence to support his claim, but that if “you draw the first circles of people who voted for Trump and not for Biden, as far as people who would be in the zone of folks who you would be suspect of.” The Representative from Tennessee added that “the suspect group is large.”
.@RepCohen on his concerns w/ the National Guard securing the Inauguration: “The [National] Guard is 90 some-odd percent male; and only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden … there are probably not more than 25% of the people there protecting us that voted for Biden” pic.twitter.com/ofQfLuCw8I
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 18, 2021
Cohen was widely criticised by many across the political spectrum for insinuating that anyone in the National Guard would be a threat to Biden, with some commentators noting that his comments about white men were tantamount to him asking for “racial loyalty tests.”
I was a journalist on the battlefields of Iraq & Afghanistan for more than a decade. I watched many of these “white men” die there, right beside black, Hispanic & Asian men & women of every color. None of them cared about race – just each other & this country. Shame on all of you https://t.co/ua3eRDz9ql
— Lara Logan (@laralogan) January 19, 2021
Sewing hate & conspiracy – why isn't @jack and @vijaya suspending @RepCohen?
Cohen is also apparently spreading conspiracies regarding the @JoeBiden "victory" because if you use his stats, Joe did not win (and he did) – why isn't @TwitterSafety taking action against Cohen? https://t.co/bKJqNxJ0GR
— Tony Shaffer (@T_S_P_O_O_K_Y) January 19, 2021
Cohen and Sciutto calling for racial loyalty tests on MLK Day https://t.co/HUvjBiVP2G
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 18, 2021
MLK: I have a dream people will be judged not by skin color but by the content of their character.
Biden: My cabinet will be the most diverse in history (MSM: ..and why this is a good thing)
Rep Cohen (D): White males in the Nat'l Guard are likely violent insurrectionists https://t.co/ZB90rhDebR
— Razor (@hale_razor) January 18, 2021
Only one day after Cohen appeared on CNN, it was reported that the Biden administration will initiate what seems tantamount to an ideological purge within the military, with the administration labelling anyone who supports President Trump as a “far-right extremist,” which will “[force] military commanders to remove them from their ranks under existing Pentagon policies.”
BREAKING: Biden’s administration will label Trump supporters as ‘Far-Right Extremists’ forcing military commanders to remove them from their ranks under existing Pentagon policies. https://t.co/it1gZlEhYr
— @amuse (@amuse) January 19, 2021
Federal officials are now “vetting” thousands of National Guard members, apparently for pro-Trump sentiments, in preparation for the inauguration of Joe Biden. Among the force of over 25 thousand, servicemen who will be near Biden will have to undergo additional background checks. The Defense Department will also monitor social media accounts for indicative posts from service members.