The demonstrations after the police murder of George Floyd reached the White House in late May 2020. Some were peaceful, some less so. It is instructive to see the behavior of the White House in that period versus how they operated in the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Some of the following few accounts were taken from Wikipedia, which referenced several other mainstream media sources.
The White House lockdown, the night of May 29, was in response to protests that began at 7:00pm. By 8:30pm, the lockdown was lifted as protesters began to leave. At 10:00pm, the protesters returned, and came into conflict with the United States Secret Service. At one point the protesters were pepper sprayed. Protesters reportedly “threw bricks, rocks, bottles, fireworks and other items,” as well as “urine and alcohol” at Secret Service agents, injuring over 60 of them, including 11 who were hospitalized and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
As a result of the protests, the Secret Service rushed President Donald Trump to shelter in the White House underground bunker. This occurred after some protesters crossed temporary barricades set up near the Treasury Department buildings. Trump later falsely claimed that he had only gone to the bunker for an “inspection,” and that he was only in the bunker “for a tiny, little, short period of time.” AG William Barr later stated that the May 29 protests “were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the President go down to the bunker.”
President Trump responded to the White House protesters on Twitter, saying that if they had crossed the White House fence they would have been attacked by “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons.” He also stated that “many Secret Service agents [are] just waiting for action,” and accused the protesters of being “professionally organized.”
Now let’s compare and contrast…
Former President Trump was never taken to a shelter at the White House on January 6th. He had the authority to call in the National Guard to quell the violent protests occurring at the Capitol, but never did. He watched the insurrection on television. In fact, it was several others – including Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley, Vice President Pence, Majority Leader Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi – who made the decision in concert to call in the National Guard in view of Trump’s willful negligence.
His willingness to use violence against the protesters in May was in direct opposition to how he dealt with the armed insurrection. He, or his subordinates, made it clear to the Acting Secretary of Defense that the National Guard was to be ready to protect the insurrectionists, in the event they were needed. Not the Capitol Police. Not the Metropolitan PD of Washington, DC. The insurrectionists.
Trump’s accusation that the George Floyd protests were “professionally organized” is a projection. He is proficient at accusing the opposition of things he is guilty of. And so, it was with the insurrection.
It is now clear that militias like the Oathkeepers, Proud Boys and 3 percenters were highly organized and were not quiet about that fact in online groups. It was well-known to many in Washington. Steve Bannon knew what would happen. “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s gonna be moving. It’s gonna be quick. And all I can do is strap in,” Bannon said the day before on his podcast, the War Room. “You have made this happen and tomorrow it’s game day.”