Were it not for National Guard soldiers deployed to Washington, D.C., this week, all of the most cherished monuments in the nationa’s capital would have been defaced by violent protesters, Fox News’ Pete Hegseth said Friday night.
Hegseth knows firsthand, because he spent some time serving with the Guard in D.C. during the unrest.
“I was there for three nights on the streets of Washington, D.C.,” Hegseth said. “At one point, it was me and a handful of other guys standing at the Vietnam War Memorial to defend it from people who would want to deface it, after the Lincoln Memorial.”
Hegseth said that while he was stationed at The Wall, he prayed and began to think how similar the situation was to that experienced by troops returning from Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, many of whom received hostile welcomes in the U.S.
“I remember saying a prayer there and thinking, ‘This is what it’s like to be a Vietnam veteran — what they went through when they came home,'” he said.
“I remember saying a prayer there and thinking, ‘This is what it’s like to be a Vietnam veteran — what they went through when they came home.'”
“If we had not been there, if the National Guard had not been there, every single monument would’ve been defaced, everything single business would’ve been looted and they would’ve laid siege to the White House in an unending fashion,” he continued.
Hegseth also blasted D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for being irresponsible and reckless in her handling of the Guardsmen and the protesters.
He also confirmed that Bowser essentially evicted several National Guard troops from a Washington hotel this week.
“That was the hotel I was staying at,” he said. “I can confirm that the guys that were still there have been kicked out of the hotel by the mayor. “The men and women in uniform who had nowhere else to stay, that is where the Army hotel had been set up so that they could protect the very city that she supposedly runs.”
Hegseth said that if not for President Trump’s swift actions to station the Guard, Bowser would’ve had “no way out of the mess she was in.”
While stationed in the District, he and other Guard members were subjected to “the most vile things” people could say — despite the fact they were there to defend the peaceful protesters’ First Amendment rights.
“Without [the Guard], you do not have any peaceful protest — and without what the president did in calling in the National Guard and the other people, Washington, D.C., would be a very different place tonight,” he said.
Host Sean Hannity agreed with Hegseth’s sentiment, calling Bowser “radical” and saying she used up precious city resources to paint a large “Black Lives Matter” slogan along 16th Street, which leads to the White House.
President Trump, he said, also blasted Bowser and compared her to Minneapolis Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey.
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