Esper and Milley Testify on Pentagon’s Civilian Law Enforcement Roles

Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify before the House Armed Services Committee on the Defense Department’s authorities and roles in relation to civilian law enforcement, July 9, 2020.

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Remotely in this hearing in accordance with House rules. So I will do that in a couple of the programming notes and we’ll get started. I would like to welcome members who are joining today’s markup remotely. Those members are reminded, reminded that they must be visible on screen within the software platform for the purposes of identity verification when joining the proceeding, establishing and maintaining a quorum, participating in the proceeding and voting. What we’re not gonna be voting but members participating. What? We must continue to use the software platform video function while attending the proceedings unless they experience connectivity issues or other technical problems that are under the member unable to fully participate on camera. If a member who is participating remotely experiences technical difficulties, please contact us, and we will help you. 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If members will be absent for a significant period of part, joined a different proceeding, they should exit the software platform entirely and then rejoined it if they return. Members are also advised that I have designated committee staff member to, if necessary, mute unrecognized members microphones to cancel any burden. Background noise members may use the software platforms chat feature to communicate with staff regarding technical and logistical support issues. Only Finally, remotely participating members should see a five minute countdown clock on the software platforms display. But if necessary, I will remind members when their time is up, um, the only additional notes I would make that Apparently, if your microphone in here is left on when you’re not speaking, it can generate some feedback within the platform. So if you are not speaking, turned the microphone off so that we can avoid that feedback. So I’m gonna make an opening statement. So Thornberry is going to make an opening statement. We have a hard stop in this hearing at three o’clock. Um, I’m not going to ask any questions. I’ll go right to the first member on our side of the aisle who is in order. I’ll just let let my opening statement stand. So the purpose of this hearing is to look at the events surrounding the Department of Defense’s response to the protests that arose out of the murder of George George Floyd in Minneapolis and sort of twofold what I would like to accomplish one. We would like to better understand what happened. How was the D. O. D. Involved? What were the steps between the D. O. D and the White House and the decisions that were made at the various points about D. O. D. Involvement specifically in dealing with domestic unrest? To begin with, there is the basic question of guard units, and this is pretty straightforward. And we’ve used Guard units for a number of different reasons to deal with emergencies in states across the country. Department of Defense works with the governor of every state to determine that. But getting a little clarity as to how that process worked in this case would be enormously helpful. Then there is the more complicated question of how this applies to Washington, D. C. As we all know, they don’t have a governor. The Department of Defense has greater authority over the guard in the District of Columbia than they do in states. How did that play out? How was the coordination handled between the mayor of D. C. The police force in D. C. And then also adding to the confusion the Department of Justice has various security personnel that they employed within Washington, D. C. There was considerable concern about how all of that played out. What was the level of coordination? Why were there helicopters, military helicopters buzzing over the top of protesters in the middle of that protest? Who made that decision? What was the level of coordination and then connected all this as we get beyond the normal use of the guard is the Insurrection Act. Is the ability of the president to activate active duty military personnel over the objections of governors and use them to deal with civil unrest? How is that considered? In this context? There seemed to be conflicting statements out of the White House and out of the Department of Defense about how that was being viewed. Would like to know what came to pass in that regard and in particular the one group of active duty troops that were called up. They were never, as I understand it deployed, but they were put on standby across the river in Virginia for potential use in Washington, D. C. What, what played out in that decision as well. But then, more broadly than just what happened in this instant, this is something that is going to involve our country in the future. Without a doubt, we will have different presidents and different secretaries of defense and different chairman’s, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be having to make decisions like this. So what is the departments of you on the role that they should play in dealing with civil unrest? What role. Should the guard play, How should they coordinate with governors? Win? Do they think the Insurrection Act is appropriate to be used? How does all of that play out and then more specifically on? That is the question of how, regardless of whether it’s the D, o. D or the state or whoever, how do you deal with civil unrest? I was struck by the fact that there seemed to be a lack of coordination and a lack of thought in that response and not talking about d o d. I’m talking about across the country as people saw these protests rise up in some cases turned violent. What was the plan for dealing with that? There’s actually a lot of very well documented history about how to deal with domestic unrest ranging it everywhere from civil war to protest movements on, and we have studied this extensively. I read quite a bit about it, and what is our plan? You had a lot of the president’s rhetoric that sort of sounded like, you know, basically we will crush you, so you better stop doing this to a more nuanced approach to how do you de escalate? How do you protect the legitimate right of people in this country to protest while at the same time stopping crime stopping protest movements from becoming violent. I think it’s something that requires thought and all leaders in a place to make those decisions need to be better educated on how that comes to pass. And then the last two things that I would like to touch on is one. The disturbing lack of coordination between what the White House was saying and what D o. D. Was saying and in some cases, doing the president started a lot of this with his announcement. Not forgive. May I forget the exact words? But the general, just if it was, you know, we will bring order to this country, and if the governors don’t do it, then I will use the active duty military to do it for them. That statement did not seem to be followed up by any actual actions to do it. But why would he say that if that was the case on what sort of conversations went on between the Department of Defense and the president and others in the White House about the best way to respond that to that on. That gets to an interesting part of this on bats. The difficult position that any secretary of defense in any chairman of joint chief of staff is in. Um, you work for the president? He’s bander in chief. That’s the way the flow chart goes on. His decisions are final. Um, and you have to follow those now. It is absolutely impossible than any per person. And either of your positions would agree 100% of the time with everything the president said. How do you handle those disparate mince? How do you work through that? You know, admittedly, that you can’t come out in public on DSI A. Yeah, I think my boss is an idiot. I completely disagree with his decision, and it is something that happens in this committee all the time. I’ve been on this committee through four presidents, to Republicans to Democrats, and whenever that is the case, invariably the party up here that is not in the White House tries to get everybody at the Department of Defense to admit that’s some decision by the president. They don’t agree with it under President Obama happened all the time. We had d o d personnel up here. Some decision was made as Come on, you really don’t think that’s the right thing to do? I do understand that in my time. Anyway, I’ve never seen a single solitary witness confess and say, Oh, yeah, I thought that was stupid. That’s not the way it works. And I’m not looking for that. I’m looking for an understanding as to how the White House and D o. D convey better coordinate. We had a disturbing pattern not just on the domestic unrest issues, but on a number of issues off the White House, seemingly out of the blue, making bold policy statements that a fact D. O D. Decisions that do not appear to have been well coordinated are certainly not well delivered. The decision to pull out of Syria Thebe decision to remove troops from Germany. The decision Teoh Bay on transgender people from serving in the military. That one was particularly galling because it came within days after every service chief had testified that there was no problem with them serving in a tweet goes out and d o. D has to respond. That sends a mixed message to the country about what our defence policy it’s and I’m particularly happened on Syria when that announcement was made, and then we had to figure out how to make that work. So we are curious within those limitations. How is that coordination happen? Lastly, there is concerned about the politicisation of the military. And again, this is not unique. T anyone. President, President, commander in chief has a duty to guide the military and at the same time has political interests. But how do we make sure those two things get separate? Stay separate. Sorry. And the biggest concern of that, obviously, was the incident at ST John’s Church when the president and the secretary of Defense and a few others, you know, took a picture in front of the church on. But it was quickly turned around into a political ad. Um, you know, it is, I think, incredibly important that we respect the institutions of our government, irrespective of who is in charge. We are a nation of laws, the nation of institutions, not a nation of any one individual. Long after this president is out of office long after all of us are gone from our current positions there will be new people in those positions on those institutions need to survive on their own, not to serve any one particular persons political interests. And I am very concerned about the Department of Defense becoming unduly politicized. I will say for the record that I think both of these gentlemen have done by enlarge an excellent job of not doing that, even in what is a very difficult environment. We have seen politicization happened in the Department of Justice and the Intel community to I personally feel a shocking degree. I have not seen that at the Department of Defense and I respect that. I just want to make sure that it doesn’t happen because you make bad decisions in that environment. The decision is based on the loyalty toe, one individual instead of loyalty to the country, loyalty to the law, loyalty to what is in all of our best interests, it makes a difficult job even more difficult. So I look forward to the witnesses, answers these questions and explanations of what happened and whether anything I think it is incredibly appropriate that the public sees this in one straightforward situation with two people who are in the middle of this Comptel. What happened? What the thinking was so that we can have greater confidence and those institutions that we so greatly need to make sure that we remain a stable and peaceful nation. And without, I would yield to Mr Thornberry for his opening state. Thank you, Mr Chairman, And let me join in welcoming the secretary and the chairman to be with us. And we appreciate your flexibility in these rather unusual circumstances and locations and, um all that is required within in the current situation. It I’ve in addition to this many of the specific questions that the chairman laid out, I think one of the most important things that you all can help us do, which the chairman also mentioned a couple of times his help us look at these issues in context both a historical context and a context of everything that the military is being asked to do these days. Because I am struck by the fact that even when you look at d o d support to civilian law enforcement, obviously way, think of the protests and what happened here in Washington. But elements of the military have been doing a lot of law enforcement missions related for Kobe four months again. It’s primarily the National Guard that has has been doing that. But it seems to me since the beginning of the year, the military has been asked to take on a number of additional missions unexpectedly that require different kinds of training and preparation. But at the same time, you still have to pay attention to the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Iranians and the terrorists who were trying to kill us every day. And and so it’s it’s in that larger context. I think that I am particularly interested in your assessment on how are people are doing and also how are our budgets are doing? Because even when it’s the guard in many of these situations that are being asked to do civilian law enforcement, D. O. D. Is footing the bill for that. So again, my point is, in addition to a number of of particular questions, the larger context how the military is doing with these added responsibilities is important. Last thing I just want to say is agreeing with the chairman. The temptation here is to focus on a particular incident, a particular president and particular political differences. I think what is most helpful for us as a ZA chairman said, presidents come and go, Everybody in our jobs coming, Go ! We’re talking in part about a act that was passed in 18 07 and hasn’t been changed very much since then. So the historical, um uh, uh context is also seems to me important with the institutions. You know, I keep always in the forefront of my mind the Gallup polls that are done every year. What institutions do you respect the most? The military’s at the top of the list on. That’s a key national strength of of this of this country. And and whatever we do, we want to make sure that the men and women who serve the military continue tohave that exalted position of respect throughout the country as presidents come and go and as issues and incidents come and go. And to me, that is a key responsibility of this Congress like the chairman. I’m not gonna ask specific questions. I’ll go directly to the folks on our side, But again, thank you both for being here. Thank you, Mr Secretary Chairman Smith ranking member Thornberry and distinguished members of the House Armed Services Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to be before you today. Throughout our history, the United States military has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to uphold our oath to the Constitution and to support our civil authorities. Over the past several months, more than 60,000 service members have unfailingly answered our nation’s call, working on the front lines in the fight against the cove in 19 pandemic saving lives and stemming the spread of the virus. At the same time, we are hard at work as part of Operation Warp Speed to accelerate the development, manufacture and distribution of therapeutics and vaccines at scale. By the end of the year and over the next few months, we will like will be called upon by the state’s once again to support hurricane and wildfire relief efforts. No matter the challenges or circumstances, our service members stand ready to serve. And I, incredibly proud of their dedication and commitment to our fellow Americans in late May are ongoing support. The Civil Authorities mission expanded in the wake of the horrible killing of George Floyd and an officer being charged with his murder, a tragedy we have seen repeated too often in our nation. Following his tragic death, thousands of our fellow citizens sought to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. While most of these protests were law abiding, it is clear that some individuals exploited a situation to sow chaos and commit acts of violence, destruction and theft. That is why the high the civil unrest. More than 43,000 National Guard personnel we’re called upon by governors across the country to uphold the rule of law, safeguard life and property, and protect the rights of Americans, all Americans to protest safely and peacefully. As a former soldier and member of the National Guard, I’m a firm believer that in these situations, the guard is best suited to provide domestic support to civil authorities in support of law enforcement. Using active duty forces in a direct law enforcement role should remain a last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. I want to make very clear that no active duty military units engaged protesters or otherwise took part direct part in civilian law enforcement or federal protection missions in the district of Columbia or anywhere else in the country. And with regard to the role the National Guard played in Lafayette Park on June 1, I also want to make clear the following that the guard did not advance on the crowd, that the guard did not shoot rubber bullets, that the guard did not employ chemical agents of any type. Rather, the guard remained in a static role as backup tow law enforcement if needed. A detailed account of the Audi’s involvement in the civil unrest beginning May 29th 2020 is included in my written testimony submitted for the record following the events that transpired in the District of Columbia, I directed the secretary of the Army to complete a full after action review by the end of July. I also directed investigations into two separate incidents that occurred that week. And Mr Chairman, with your permission, I’d like to enter into the record my directive to the secretary, the Army, with regard to the conduct of his after action review, without objection so ordered. As the American people continue to express their outrage at the killing of Mr Floyd and long for meaningful change, we once again face the painful truth that racism Israel in America. We also know that the department defense is not immune to the forces of bias and prejudice, whether seen or unseen, deliberate or unintentional. These issues have no place in our military because they degrade the morale, cohesion and readiness of our force. While our military is often lead on addressing these issues, the events of recent weeks are a stark reminder that much more work remains to be done. Therefore, on June 17th announced three new initiatives aimed at advancing equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion across our force. First, I directed our civilian and uniformed leadership in the Pentagon to bring me concrete ideas by the end of June that we could implement quickly, such as removing photos from selection boards. Second, I establish an internal department Defense board on Diversity Inclusion, which will provide recommendations by the end of the year on how we can increase diversity and ensure equal opportunity for all service members. Finally, I began the process of establishing a Defense Advisory Committee on diversity and inclusion in the armed services that will be a permanent structure composed of an independent and diverse group of Americans committed to building upon the work of the defense board over the long term. These are just the first steps towards shifting our culture and creating lasting change across our enterprise. In doing so, we will build a better force, one that is diverse, inclusive and more representative of the American people we serve and we protect. And while we may come from different backgrounds and parts of the country, we all make the same commitment to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We all strive to uphold that oath and serve in a political manner at all times. By doing so, we earned the trust and confidence of the American people. Meanwhile, while much has been focused on our support to our fellow Americans at home, thousands of military personnel remain engaged abroad in harm’s way to ensure that we can enjoy the blessings of this country. We take very seriously any threats to our forces, whether in Afghanistan or anywhere else across the globe. I wonder adversaries to know that we always do our utmost to ensure their safety and security in closing. I want to assure the American people that the Department of Defense takes seriously our oath to defend the Constitution, with many having paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the sacred rights and freedoms. This document guarantees all of us. We will continue to protect and defend our homeland, our people and our way of life as we work to build a better force, one that represents the rich diversity of our great nation. Thank you, Chairman Milling Jared Smith, ranking member Thornberry distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today with Secretary Aspar. It’s indeed an honor to represent the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen station around the world, protecting our freedoms. Today, as you know, we’re operating globally and here at home, the past few months have been exceptionally challenging times for America. The Cove in 19 Pandemic is stressed our health system, our economy and the social fabric of our communities. In addition, George Floyd’s death amplified the pain, the frustration, the fear that so many of our fellow Americans live with day in and day out. I have many policemen in my family, and I am personally outraged by George Floyd, brutal and senseless killing the protests that have ensued not only speak to this injustice, but also to centuries of injustice towards black Americans. We, as a nation and as a military are still struggling with racism, and we have much work to do. We wear the cloth of our nation, understand that cohesion is a force multiplier, divisiveness leads to defeat, is one of our famous president said. I was divided does not stand our troops a part of a cohesive teams consisting of people of different races and genders, and religious and sexual orientations. Working too, accomplished their mission in peace and war all over the globe. Equality and opportunity or matters of military readiness, not just political correctness. There is no place in our armed forces from manifestations or symbols of racism, bias or discrimination. We, the military, have a long history of inclusiveness, teamwork and merit that is the keystone to American military success. In fact, this month 71 years ago, 1948 Harry Truman integrated the armed forces of the United States 17 years before the 1965 Civil Rights Act. But we’re not perfect, and we must thoughtfully examine our institution and insurer. It is a place where all Americans see themselves represented and have equal opportunity to succeed, especially in leadership positions. And every member of our joint force, including myself, has sworn an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution. This oath underpins my duties as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I am deeply committed, fulfilling both the letter and the spirit, my oath regardless of consequences to self. We United States military hold dear, the constitution and the principle of in a political military that is so deeply rooted in the very essence of our republic. My role is the chairman is to be the principal military adviser to the president of the United States, the secretary of Defense, the National Security Council on the Homeland Security Council and throughout the recent period of civil unrest in our nation, I exercise this role exclusively. At no time was I ever in command of any forces. All of my actions have been consistent with my statutory authorities, an adviser who is explicitly not in the chain of command. We should also be proud, proud that the vast majority the protests we saw around the country were peaceful and peaceful. Protest means that American freedom is working. Some protests, however, turned violent. In Minneapolis, significant violence began on the evening of 26 May. We’re alluding commercial property damage and arson quickly overwhelm the 1,000,000 Minneapolis firefighters and police officers. On 28 May Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the Minnesota Garden to his authority and deployed them to Minneapolis to support state and local law enforcement. The secretary of defense and I spoke by telephone with the governor to better understand the situation in Minneapolis and see if you required any additional assistance. This conversation helped inform my military advice. Over the night of 29 May, the number of violent protests increased nationally, the 13 major cities escalating to 34 just two days later. But the morning of 1 June 29 states and the District of Columbia had activated the National Guard’s totaling more than 17,000 National Guards, men and women in Washington, D. C. Our nation’s capital, face three nights of escalating violence. Starting on Friday, May 29th the White House increased security posture. The federal government vacated certain buildings. Our nation’s monuments and government buildings were defaced. Businesses in D. C were looted and some were set ablaze. With more than 420 arrests and 150 law enforcement officers and half a dozen National Guardsmen injured. It was reported to me that it was the worst three days of violence in Washington, D. C. In over 30 years, there were troops and police from 22 different organizations, not including those from the active duty in the vicinity of the military district of Washington. There were three major department Department of Justice Department, Interior Department of Defense. All involved, they were National Guard troops from 11 different states and the chain of command for those National Guard troops. Friend from the president to the secretary, defense to the secretary, the Army to Major General Walker. And it never changed since the protests began. I sought information to help me assess the ability of federal, state and local authorities to handle situations under the responsibility. And I met and spoke with National Guard leadership and troops, often army, India, the Leadership Department of Justice and others, along with governors and D C officials. I continually assessing advised that it was not necessary to employ active duty troops in response to the civil unrest occurring in our nation. It was my view then and remains so now that local, state and federal police backed up by the National Guard under governor control, could and continually can effectively handle the security situation. In every case across the country. However, I recommended to the secretary defense and he ordered about 1700 active duty troops to an increased alert posture in the vicinity of Washington, D. C. But none of them were ever used and there was never an active duty troop used in any location anywhere in the United States. Additionally, our repeatedly advised secretary defense and he repeatedly ordered de escalation measures to be taken, including removing weapons and helmets and consistent with force protection measures. Thes de escalation measures were widely implemented from 2 to 3 June, and by 4 June, active duty and National Guard units began redeploying from the vicinity of Washington See Back Home Station and more detailed account is in the written record. I’m incredibly proud of the professionalism exhibited by the citizen soldier to make up our national guard. Since their formation, they have operated in support of local and state governments, throughout history Responding to hurricanes, forest fires, Health crisis sees Cove in 19 the pandemic in many forms of civil unrest throughout the years. By my research, I can’t at least 19 times that National Guard a militia. Troops were used and supported the Insurrection Act. And it’s important to note the Insurrection Act was not invoked in the last several weeks. The United States military comes from the people of our nation. We remain dedicated to the Constitution. We will never turn our back on that document. We swore an oath of allegiance, of the cost of our lives to an idea embedded within that document. And we will always protect it. Thank you very much. And I look forward to your questions. Thank you. Members will now be recognized in the order that they were here when the gavel dropped into. There is a five minute limit and sorry we will have. We won’t have enough time to get there, remember? So I’m gonna be ruthless on the five minute clock on one of the hardest problems. There is a lot of times witnesses or in the middle of an answer in that five minutes goes up, I’m not attempting to be rude or attempting to cut you off. I will try to give you the opportunity to complete your thought. But as members ask questions and witnesses the answer understand? When the five minutes is up, we’re gonna do our level best to as quickly as possible. Move onto the next member on with that. First on our side is representative Davis, who is participating remotely. Um Robson Davis, you are recognized for five minutes. Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. And thank you to Secretary Esperance and General Milley. We appreciate your joining us for this. I wanted Teoh start with you. Mr Secretary. You mentioned the after action Review on July 30th. Is that on force for the end of the month? And will we be scheduling a briefing on that? Cumbersome much, right. I heard parts of your question didn’t come through, but I think you asked Is the is the after action review on track and will you be briefed on it? If that was your question, I spoke Teoh. Secretary McCarthy Just yesterday is, as you may know, he played a very prominent role in all this. I know. He briefed the committee a few weeks ago along with General Walker, but he is handling that piece of the review. His assessment currently is that it’s on track. I’m though, however more concerned about getting it right, then getting it done quick. But my aim would be after that to, ah, to make that available to you. Also, something that I put forth in my directive to him was to be prepared to take his findings and recommendations and a have a similar conversation, a similar type of review process with law enforcement that was on the ground in D. C. Because I think that’s a very important second step in that process. To have that discussion so that we can have the lessons learned work them out between us in law enforcement for the uh if this happens again. Thank you, Mr Secretary. I know we’re all concerned about being prepared, and I I wanted Teoh especially focus on, um, the first of June because that was a time that there was concern that there was a great deal of violence that day and the understanding I think of most people that were on the ground in terms of including the reporting of The Washington Post and others. Is that that particular day? Actually, it was peaceful and may have been a few incidents. I don’t know, I wasn’t there. But I understand from all the reporting that that was the case and that, um, that they in fact, that part Police. Aziz, you, as you mentioned, was there. You talked. Uh, General Milley talked about the guard being there is back up. But, um, we saw Attorney General Bill Bar actually talking about the fact that it was that it was violent and that they needed to move forward because, ah, the they were They were very worried of things coming out of control. And I just wondered if you from where you said today, do you think that that assessment that in fact, it was filing on that day and that there was a need to even have the guard is back up? Is is that true? Do you think that in further reflection that that isn’t quite well what people thought? Congressman, I think when you look back at the days leading up to June 1st, you see a tremendous amount of ah, violence that had been building up over a period of days. If I have my numbers right that over a period of three days, I think eventually, Regrettably, over 50 park police officers were injured. Over 60 Secret Service agents were injured. We had six National Guardsmen hurt to include one who was hit in the head with a brick and suffered a concussion. You had parts of D. C to include the church set on fire and other acts of vandalism across the area. So there was, ah, great deal of consternation by law enforcement with regard to what might happen that evening of June 1st, I think that’s why there was the push to get additional law enforcement in as soon as possible, backed up by National Guard that you had enough presence to calm the situation down, regained some degree of control and allow for Americans to peacefully protest their government to express their outrage over the brutal murder of George Boyd and to allow those things to happen free of violence from those individuals of folks out there who were trying to cause mischief. So that’s my assessment at the chairman may have something there. Well, I think I was just going to say, Secretary, I think that that this certainly is an area to take a very hard look at and to be sure that it’s clear among the departments, because even what we ask those questions. When we had army leadership here, they actually were not clear about what was going on. They had situational awareness, but they didn’t know who ordered the clearing of protesters who authorized the helicopters. Teoh. I’m sorry, General. Ladies. Susan, your time’s expired. Uh, Mr Turner is recognized for five minutes. Davis. Chairman, Um, first off, I want to thank Secretary Esper and Millie for your leadership. You give great confidence to everyone in this committee on both sides of the aisle. I won’t appreciate your strong words, both of you, on the killing of George Floyd. Um, the fact that your whole focus is protecting people’s First Amendment rights is incredibly important and should be foundational important to to this discussion. I appreciate your recognition of the outrage that everyone felt, and I appreciate your condemnation of racism and the fact that were dealing with this is a nation across all areas and you’re being called in a very difficult time, Mr. Kerry. Appreciate your statements on diversity and inclusion. This committee took several actions with the National Defense Authorization Act that I think will be helpful. And we look forward to your comments on this. You made a statement. I have three questions. We have limited time. I have three questions. One, You said that the Guard is best to support these efforts. Is it because of their dual nature of the fact that they’re both private citizens and serve in the military? I think First of all, Congressman, thank you for your comments. First of all, I think that one they are citizen soldiers, and that matters because they often come from those communities in which they may be serving. They’re protecting their fellow, uh, fellow Americans. They understand what’s happening in the neighborhoods in the community, so I think that’s important. Number two, they’re trained in many cases to do civil disturbance, and number three, they’re equipped to do this. So it’s part of what we call the mission Essential task. List their metal tasks in most cases to perform these duties and again, having been a citizen soldier myself, I appreciate their capacity at this, which is but better in many cases, in the active duty. I have a question for you that I believe it has the narrowness of which is gonna be helpful for all of us. So I would appreciate if you let me finish the entire question to us, we can get to the narrowness part, but I think we’ll give you comfort. I understand the rules with respect to classified material. And I also understand that things that haven’t happened are not classified. Mrs. Secretary, during your time as secretary, have you ever received an intelligence briefing where it stated that Russia had offered bounties for the killing of American soldiers? And if you had, wouldn’t you think that was important enough to bring to the attention of the President? And I’m focusing here on the nearness of the word bounties, and I want you to know also that the people in this room know the answer to the question. We’re not able to give the answer because of the rules. But you are. And I think with the narrowness of this question, we would greatly appreciate your answering it. Have you received a Intel briefing that stated that include the word bounty with respect of Russians on and the killing of American and women in uniform. Congressman, to the best of my recollection, I have not received a briefing that included the word bounty, Mr. Terry, Really percent you statement in the next question then is, And if you had, wouldn’t that have risen to the level of importance enough for you to bring it to the president’s attention? That would be an action item, wouldn’t I mean, it would be so outrageous that you would bring that up the chain of command if if it was a credible report, that’s important, credible, corroborated report that had that used those words, Certainly it would have been brought to my attention by the chain of command by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and others for action. It would have been, Ah, we would have taken upon that action in an interagency effort to make sure we got we addressed it. But look at all times we take the force protection very seriously and take all those actions regardless of the credibility of a report, we take all that seriously understand turning back to this issue, Miss Secretary um, the mayor of D C has a police chief governors have access to other resource is with respect to the guard. Could you compare and contrast those with us? It’s important people understand what people talk about the mayor of D. C. Being consulted versus a governor being consulted what their structures are. So, first of all, I want to commend the police chief of Metro Police Department. He worked very well, was very helpful to the secretary of the Army during those difficult days. So I want to commend him. But as I understand it, hey, is the police force for Washington D. C. Washington D. C. Does not have a state police force, like many other states, have. That could be that they can call upon it. They will. And of course, the D. C Guard does not report to the mayor of the D. C. Guard. The commander is the commander in chief. The president who Condell a gate that authority to me. And then I can further delegate it down. So the capabilities of the D. C to handle civil unrest is limited is best I know it to just the Metro Police Department. I think I was chairman. Thank you, Mr Larson is recognized for five minutes. Thank you, Mr Trim. Um, I appreciate the opportunity. You ask a few questions. Um, first off, Secretary Esper and this has to do is the after action report in the coordination question, the D c. National Guard leadership in response to the D C. Protest the D c. NASA probably trip. That’s the only agency that runs through a chain of command up to you. Is that correct? The yes. The chain of the D C. Chain of command National Guard chain of command roams from the commanding general Major General Walker to the Secretary of the Army to me and then to the president of the United States. And that was the only agency unit involved that ran through the challenge and of the department. It’s all right. I’m sorry. Can you repeat that? I didn’t pick up the second word that you said That’s the only that’s the only agency that ran up through the D. O. D chain of command. In response, that D C protests. Is that right? Yes, that would be outside of act, any active duty. That’s correct with regard to Title 32. Otherwise all other National Guard forces, either in their home states or that eventually deployed. Washington D. C. Remained under the command of the state’s governor’s, and general Walker was active control on the ground. Yeah, So there’s video of non uniformed federal government folks who were deployed to washing DC, presumably from the Bureau of Prisons and presumably, front at the request of the attorney General. You mentioned that you do an after action report and that after action report will apply only at this point to the Department of Defense and the D. C. National Guard. Is that where it stands right now? Ah, yes, Congressman, with the note I sent to the secretary of the Army was to look at the at the National Guard writ large. It directed him to focus also on the events in D. C. And then, of course, ah related issues that arose like the use of helicopters and his He’s to look a training, equipping organization. All those issues that might be, ah, his findings that might include refining some lessons learned for future, for future employment of the National Lord. Thank you. Do you know at this time whether or not the head of the D. C. National Guard. I was aware of the deployment of these non uniformed, presumably federal law enforcement folks that created a perimeter around the White House of the gun. Jude Third, Was that coordinated? You Have you concluded that was coordinated yet with the with the D c. National Guard? Well, again, I’m not sure I understand your question. Let me answer this way. The chairman. I spoke to Major General Walker yesterday. He had a he had understanding of who was on the ground in Lafayette Park. He was there. He knew that that the D. C National Guard were in a supporting role to the park police. I can t stop there. I’m just happy that you’re talking about Lafayette Park. That’s fine. But there were other law enforcement deployed who were apparently nine local non d. C. There were federal law enforcement also deployed to take actions within D. C within the boundaries of the District of Columbia. But I’m asking it that those if you know yet whether or not those actions were coordinated with the d c National Guard or or or not I my understanding is because I was with Secretary of the Army. McCarthy, the chairman. We were down at the FBI Joint Operations Center on Monday evening with representatives from a number of agencies. I can’t list them all. Federal is you describe them, so I know it was fairly well coordinated. Secretary More Carthy did a, um, outstanding job with regard to working that out on the spot. And Major General Walker was by his side. Most of the time. I turned to chairman Billy. See if he has anything to add on that I’ve got about 30 seconds. So, Congressman, I would I can’t confirm or deny that all of those federal law enforcement agencies were tied into the d. C. National Guard personally for Walker. I have to go talk to Walker specifically about that. But all of the federal agencies came underneath the Department of Justice. Except for the park police were under the department interior and the Metro police remain under the command total Mayor. So I think that helps clarify or not, but a little bit. Thank you. Thank you. Know that does help. That’s a major crush in that we have. Mr. Rogers is recognized refinements. Thank you. Mr Chairman. and secretary. Mr Chairman. Thank you both for being here and for your service to our country. Miss Secretary, In early June, you requested members of the National Guard under Section 502 f of title 32. You made some reference it is, but can you give us a more full picture? What? Commanding no control structure under that authority is and kind of give us an organizational most structure. Are you speaking, I assume, within Washington’s and Washington’s guess I’m sorry. So you’re right on the on the afternoon of 1 June, the we knew we would have available throughout that evening up to 1200 a. D. C. National Guard, as we just described. They work for Major General Walker, who was reporting to Secretary of the Army McCarthy, who was reporting to me. We estimated that we needed 3800 additional National Guard to support the efforts in D. C. So what we did was through a combination of myself in General, Angle had reached out to a number of states to seek the permission from the governor to deploy their elements of their guard to D. C. To support the law enforcement effort 11 states. If my numbers correct it provided that and they got us to a little bit over 5000 on the ground. It took a period of days to do that. But that gave us the numbers we needed at all times. The outside the guard units coming in from outside of D C non D. C. National Guard were under 502 f authorities provided funded by the federal government. Their role was to protect federal functions, property and personnel. And at all times, they remained under the control of their governors. One of shift a little bit. Mr. Chairman, in your opening remarks, you made reference to the fact that 60,000 service members have been employed dealing with a variety of issues, mostly Kobe but some other law enforcement. But it was mostly National guard, Uh, and this is kind of a follow up to to Mr Thornberrys questions, uh, how are they holding up with all this variety of missions that’s been posted? And 47,000 of those are Our National Guardsmen have been working in Kobe. What is the state of the National Guard right now? Given the way they’re being spread out. And then, as a follow up to that, the economic impact to your budgets and what we’re gonna need to back, feel the numbers you got the numbers about right for the National Guard, Nash. Globally, about 100 20,000 are on duty on active duty About 45,000. I think if I remember this right for my briefing with Joe Lango, Um, about 45,000 are dedicated to Cove it about at the peak, not right this minute. But at the peak, there were around 40 to 43,000 on the civil unrest under Governor Control on. Then there’s about 30,000 doing title 10 missions around the world or in the United States. So about 100 20 total, which is significant. That’s a big chunk of the of the US National Guard, both army and air. The reports to me, our morale is good. They feel good about their contribution on. They joined the Guard to make sure they make a contribution of the nation. So, um, I’m not particularly aware of any particular issues, but they’re going pretty fast with high optempo, probably faster than they have in the past, except during the surge periods of Iraq and Afghanistan. What about the economic impact to your budgets of having these individuals deployed in these various missions that were unplanned? There is an economic impact. I don’t know that it’s ah, it’s not gonna I don’t think it’s gonna break the d o d back on the economic impact because of the numbers. But there is an impact. Absolutely. So you don’t expect to be asking the Congress for additional money to replace that are backfilled that money in a supplemental later this year? Only that into the sector, we’ve been keeping careful counting of the dollars, Comptroller. That’s obviously something we need to come back to you on to make sure we understand what those numbers are and how material they are to the budget. And finally, Mr Secretary, do you believe that the Insurrection Act needs any legislative modification by this Congress? Well, the the Insurrection Act is an extraordinary piece of legislation as we know is is endured well over the past couple 100 years, and it is he under the exclusive authority of the president, So it would not be appropriate for me to opine in terms of material changes to the act. I would reserve that to the to the president. My my view is there’s nothing that’s happened that strikes me is compelling to change it at this point in time. Great. Thank you both for being here. You’re back, Mr Thank you. Mr. Courtney is recognized for five months. Thank you, Adam. And thank you to witnesses for being here today. Particularly wanted. Recognize both of you made very strong comments and expressing. You know, you’re upholding your oath in terms of supporting the First Amendment and people’s right toe protest peacefully. Of course, another part of the First Amendment is freedom of the press and freedom of the press did not have a very good day. I’m June 1st on a couple days ago. Over the natural resource is committee. Ah, reporter from Australia. Amelia Brace, who is a TV news reporter, was at Lafayette Park with our cameraman Tim Myers. When the U. S. Park police to two of the officers just completely assaulted them on live television. She was actually broadcasting into the morning show in Australia. It’s kind of the equivalent of the today show. And, um and I don’t know if it’s still coming through here. But in any case, her testimony described again the right shield of the park police being rammed into the chest and stomach of the Kamerman. And on camera, you could see her getting hit with a truncheon. She was shot with rubber bullets and both of them were hospitalized. So again, I just wanted maybe give you both an opportunity to just go on the record to say that No, we obviously is part of ah recognizing the First Amendment. Recognize that, um, the media has a role to play that’s protected by the Constitution. In fact, order that the mayor issued exempted the media from the curfew that was in place on fuel first. And I just wanted again would ask both of you to comment on that because, frankly, that this was on live television in Australia was probably one of our closest allies. Congressman Argo Kirsten, you’re right. Months try is one of our most important allies. I spent the other night as the chairman knows speaking with my counterpart in Australia, let me say this. We’ve said it numerous times. I’ve sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. United States. And I do that not not just because I swore No, because I believe deeply in that document and all that it guarantees our rights and democracy. And you’ve talked about the First Amendment, the First Amendment that includes the Big Five and one of which is the freedom of press. And I think a free and open press is critical to the functioning, the efficient function of our democracy. And so I think that’s something that we need we cherish. That’s one of the reasons why you know, the National Guard, when it gets used in defense of support of civil authorities, is out there is to give Americans the right to peacefully assemble to express their views and for the press to cover it hope hopefully as accurately as possible s so that the American people can have an understanding of what’s happening in the country. And Congressman, um, I’m not familiar with the particular incident that you’re referring to. Um, but I’m deeply committed to a free press. Like I said, I’ll die for the Constitution. It’s an idea. Part of that is a free media in a free media, um is fundamentally essential to free people on its fundamental to our democracy, so absolutely committed to that. Well, thank you both again. This was front page news in Australia and and I would just say that it was the park police. It was not National Guard men who were involved in that violence that took place there. But the fact is is, as the secretary’s testimony indicates, the D. C National Guard was acting in support of local police authorities, including the park police. And I think, frankly, whatever after actor after action report goes out, the fact that media are present in situations where they have a legal duty that Mr right, but a duty to be there, which was recognized by the District of Columbia that really there’s got to be some training to make sure that people recognize that it’s off limits, toe the beat them in any way that’s inappropriate, which is exactly what happened. I would encourage you to watch the testimony which took place from his brace. It’s it’s actually quite shocking, and frankly, the fact that it happened to an ally of ours, it will make you heart sec. Watch it without a yield back. Thank you, Mr Conaway is recognized for five minutes. That was your You’re my top. The next Republican on the list. Mr. Lamborn? Mr. Lamborn, are you with us, Mr Phonic? Thank you, Mr Chairman. And thank you, gentlemen, for your service. I wanted to focus on an issue of importance to constituents in my district. I’ve had the privilege of hosting both of you, Secretary Esper. In your capacity when you’re Secretary of the Army as well as General Milley. I’ve spent time with you at Fort Drum and given some of the recent press reports regarding Afghanistan. As you know, I represent military families and 10th Mountain Division soldiers who are currently deployed in Afghanistan. And I wanted to get your comments General Milley on your commitment and the department’s commitment to force protection at all costs. That is one of my top priorities, whether it’s rebuilding military readiness, investing in training, investing in equipment and having the most exquisite, exceptional intelligence that’s verified out there. But I think it’s important for families to know the lengths to which the department goes to ensure that we are protecting the safety and well being of our service members deployed. I’ll start with you, General Milley, you have 1000% commitment. I’ve got three tours in Afghanistan and multiple tours in a lot of other places. And I bet a lot of people in Arlington National Cemetery So I am committed to the end degree to protect our force. And we will ensure that they have all the right equipment training, Uh, alerts, warnings, intel, etcetera. I know what you’re referring to specifically with the Russians on, and I will tell you that we were at the highest levels of force protection units and people are and were informed and will remain informed that we’re gonna get to the bottom of all that. But I can assure the families that the force protection of our force, uh, only for May. But for every commander all the way down the line, that’s that’s a number one priority for every one of us. Absolutely. Thank you. Secretary Esper. 1000% agree as well. I say it again. It’s a former soldier myself, with with one combat tour under my belt. This is something we talk with. I talk about with the commanders all the time. General Miller and General Mackenzie on multiple occasions we make adjustments all the time across the theater and other theaters. But force protection is number one to take care of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines. They are our most vital resource, our most trusted asset. And we will do everything and anything it takes to protect them. My next question. And just so you know, I sit on the House Intelligence Committee. So I have received classified briefings. Understanding were in an unclassified setting. Right now. I also think it’s important to talk about how we know going years back, that Russia has meddled in Afghanistan as well as other countries have also involved themselves in Afghanistan, counter to our commitments and our strategic goals in the region. Whether that’s Iran, whether that’s China using economic tools. So I wanted to get your comment on that because I think it’s important to consider that, ah, long term impact rather than just this one illegal leak that’s been covered in the media on a specific of the Russians. Yes, we’ve known for years that the Russians have been involved for their own national security interests in in Afghanistan, and the Russians are not our friends in their involvement is worrisome, and we monitored closely and we take appropriate actions the Chinese air involve. The Pakistanis involved the Iranians. There’s a lot of countries involved in Afghanistan on, and many of them have Melfi’s aforethought against the U. S and U. S forces. Except we’re aware of a lot of that. Not perhaps every single thing, but we have a lot of it. And we take the appropriate measures on with respect to the issue and was previously asked by one of the other congressman, We are aware of the variety of intelligence that you are briefed on this morning, and we are pursuing that victory s for any comments on that. My trip I share the same views is the chairman. The Russians have been involved and many, many other countries and many other players, non state players in Afghanistan for a long time. And we take all that into account. And I can tell you on other occasions we have adapted force posture. We have adapted authorities equipment. Um ah, you name it Rules of engagement to make sure that our forces will well protected and able to accomplish their mission. And then my last question Can you discuss the damage that illegal leaks have on, um, on our ability to collect intelligence on our force protection measures. Because I’m very concerned the damage that illegal leaks have in general when it comes to our national security. Conscious of the clock, the illegal leaks are terrible. And they’re happening across the government, particularly Defense Department. I’m pushing forward on a new effort to remind people of opsec whether it’s ah, whether it’s pre decisional, unclassified items or even classified items. It hurts our national security. It jeopardized our troops. And it is just damaging to our government and our relationships with our allies and partners. Thank you. Yell back. Thank you. Mr. Garamendi is recognized for five minutes. Mr. Here many. Are you with us? Make sure you’re on mute yourself. I don’t see him, actually. So we’ll move on to Mr Nor Cross. Mr. Norcross, are you with us? Yes, I am. Thank you, Chairman. Spot Secretary Esper Euro Bream remarks you mentioned at the National Bar that not play an active role or advancing the crowd that not used rubber bullets, fire phrasing that and used the term static role. I’d like to focus on that and the events do first involving the Army National Guard helicopter. How would you refer to that as a static world? And I have all of work. Congressman, I was referring to the static role with regard to the actions of the National Guard in Lafayette Park on June 1st. The helicopter issues in question that you’re rising happened later that evening. I think maybe around 11 PM or so I don’t recall the Times. So obviously that was different. That was not a static role. I was talking about the the the forces on the ground in Lafayette Park. Thank you for clarifying that. When Secretary of the party was with us earlier this month, he mentioned that the report when the investigation was going to be very soon we understand it might be Trish. Now, when is that could be released to us into the public. So, Congressman, I spoke to Secretary McCarthy about this is you know, I launched this investigation within two hours of finding out about it. I think on June 2nd memory serves me. The investigation was conducted. It is completed. It is being reviewed by Secretary McCarthy. I think. Ah, deal. If I’m looking at the chairman. Billy D O D G may take a look at it, but it should be available next week to the committee. Uh, that’s my the latest report I got from the Secretary of the Army Chairman D Is that correct? That’s correct. The i g d i g s to do their review. Eso I would expect it pretty shortly. Like within days, perhaps early next week. Thank you, Wayne. Ideal balance my time to Mikey shop Jersey. Yeah, that that gets awkward. Uhm, Paul is the clock for a second? Um, Mikey, Um, do you wish to take the time? If you do, you get a come forward fake. Pardon? No, he’s here. Michelle, You recognize? For the remainder of the time Few minutes and 40 seconds. Thank you. Secretary esperan General Milley. Um, I echo the champions concerned about politicizing our military and given the attempts at politicizing our military in the unorthodox way the President attempted to control troops in our nation’s capital. I want to discuss some of the legal underpinnings of civilian control because I have such a short period of time. I’m looking for a yes or no if you don’t No, The answer. Please. Just let me know. You’ll take it for action. Secretary Esperan General Milley, you both testified that you have taken oaths to the Constitution of the United States. Is that correct? Yes. And that oath includes a note to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same. Correct? Yes. And are you both aware that Article two of the Constitution states that the executive power shall be vested in a president? In other words, one or a single president? Yes, Yes. And are you both aware that Article two of our Constitution makes the president the Commander in chief of the army and Navy of the United States? Yes. Yes. And Secretary s. Were you aware that the president’s power to move office cabinet officials from key national security positions, including the Secretary of Defense, is undisputed? I’m sorry. Can you repeat that? Certainly. Are you aware that the president’s power to remove from office key Cabinet officials, especially in national security positions including the Secretary of Defense, is undisputed? Yes. And General Milley, are you aware that the uniform Code of Military Justice, which applies to all uniformed officers criminalizes mutiny and sedition and soliciting or advising on the commission of mutiny or sedition? Absolutely. Yes. And Secretary Esper, you aware of the fundamental proposition that the Secretary of Defense is selected by the legitimate president? Yes, and confirmed by the Senate and that the legitimate legitimate commander in chief is the one who oversees the chain of command. Correct? Yes, yes. So finally, the Insurrection Act states that whenever the president considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations or assemblages or rebellion against the authority of the United States makes it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any state by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into federal service such of the militia of any state and use such of the armed forces as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress rebellion. Yes, yes. And unfortunately, the gentle lady is out of time. Uh, Mr Desjarlais, I do not see you on the screen. You’re next. Okay. We’ll go on to Mr Gates. Mr. Gates, you’re recognized for five minutes. If you are, in fact with us, Mr Bacon you usually pretty good at this. Um thank you, Mr Chairman. I appreciate both of your parents that are chairman for your leadership and helpless respect for you all. I want todo Just ask if you can say it. The read this report on the bounties originate from an intelligence agency within the military like the d I A. Or is this from outside of military? I’m sorry, Congressman. I didn’t hear the question. Did you ask the, uh, the intelligence report that talks about the Russian bounties in Afghanistan? Did that come from outside of the duty, like CIA or Ennis? There was this, Like Dion. Years come from a military intelligence able sing. It was not produced by a D o D intelligence agency. Okay, I thank you for that. I just I go back to what, Mr Phonics? These leaks, I think, undermine our intelligence communities. And it just undermines the confidence of the citizens either to the president in this case, or depend what say that you’re out or where you stand to our intelligence, organic organisations? I’m solved. And how active are you in pursuing somewhere type links within d o d. Because I think it’s imperative that we supporting people accountable to the maximum stuff, you know, the law allows. So, having just curious for your insights on us, thank you, Congressman, we are aggressively pursuing leaks within the Defense Department. We had some I would categorize bad leaks last fall. So when I when we turned the corner of the new Year, I made emphasized on Day one of the New Year of 2020 that OPSEC was going to be a A key thing for us to focus on, Leaks continued. I have launched an investigation that is under way to go after leaks, whether it’s classified information or unclassified information that is sensitive and also, you know, unloved, unauthorized discussions with the media. All those things, Ah, again hurt our national nations security. They undermine our troops, their safety. They affect our relations with other countries. They undermine our national policy. It’s bad, and it’s happening all of the government executive branch legislative branch to some degree. So it’s something we need to get control of. This is not new to this administration. Previous administrations, Republican and Democratic Light have had to deal with this. It’s just it’s bad and it’s it’s unlawful and it needs to stop. Thank you, Mr Secretary. Appreciate your comments There. I will select your comments a couple days ago. I appreciate your transparency. I should say on the report itself, he said that it was not corroborated that you didn’t have the level of confidence. Perhaps that the president would get the briefing. Is that still your opinion? It is the opinion of a number of intelligence entities, agencies that could not corroborate the report. They think you’re a switch. Subjects or topics. Sanya. Briefly. Could you just go through it? Maybe this more for the chairman. What kind of training the guard gets when it comes to supporting law enforcement? Is that universal to all the guard members? Or is it to certain specialties? How does that work? Thank you. Great question. The National Guard is Secretary said up front that no, really, we’re talking about Air Force police and the Army. National Guard eyes part of their Mission Essential task list. Most of the ground units will be trained explicitly in civil disturbance and support of law enforcement. Those would be infantry units and but primarily military police and in the D. C. guard explicitly has trained in that. In addition to that, you get refresher training throughout the throughout the year and throughout their weekend drills, etcetera. So they are trained. Not every single guardsmen out every single unit, but the ground force units that are most likely to work in the civil disturbance area or in support of law enforcement are trained. Okay. Thank you, Chairman. Mr. Closed, but just to comment. I appreciate the team work that the guard gave the d. C authorities and also in the other 30 some odd cities that they were ah, part of. And what I’m hearing from our local constituents is the how appalled they are that no, that church was burned in a fire bombed and the Apple CEO was torched. Many of the memorials were defaced, and it was action was needed to be taken up and restoring law and order. So I just appreciate what the guarded the support our law enforcement with that Mr Chairman at your back. Thank you. Mr. Gago is recognized for five. Thank you. Secretary Esper or Jury 1,000,000. Can you explain to us the actual command structure? That how it was set up? You know we have the National Guard working with local police as well as part police. So how did that happened? Where were how was the communications between all parties involved on who was actually in actual command? Control of the that area of Lafayette Square would say. It’s a very good question, Congressman. It’s a very it’s not clear. You understand chains of command your service. So it defies that in many ways. So let’s all just speak to National Guard under title 32 for D. C. I re explain President to meet with Secretary the Army to the head of Major General Walker in support of law enforcement and law enforcement was both the department, justice agencies, entities and Department of Interior, specifically park police. That relationship is more of a cooperative one. It’s not something that you and I and others who served would understand his op, con or tactical control. It’s more of a cooperative relationship where the law enforcement would say, Look, we would you would help us if you were here, here and here, and then we would We would agree or not agree to do that, but it was a very good relationship that made that work out. And then, of course, any guard units coming into the city remained under the control of the governors, but also reported to General Walker but more again on a cooperative called cooperative con than a traditional military relationship. So that being, said the diplomat, the National Guard in front of Lafayette Square, the day of the incident on June 1st, there was an agreement between Germany could interest. At some point, there was a discussion that the National Guard should stay here in a static position on and on this day. So there was a conversation. Who was that conversation between? I’m not sure specifically who? But I think it was probably Secretary McCarthy and General Walker A and the Department of Justice. Perhaps Attorney General Barr or representatives, or the representatives of Department of Interior in the park Police, Perhaps part police Captain. I’m not sure the specific individuals I can find that out, though. And get back. I appreciate it on. Then how? What was the method of communication? Because we’re dealing cross agencies. Uh, we’re really talking over cell phones to each other, you know? How did we actually communicate across all these agencies, especially considering the tense situation that everyone was dealing with. Good. Well, I was gonna say there’s a command post. Set up a combined command post with all the different agencies. 11. You know, you have the Metro Police represented there. The park police with Department of Interior, Secret Service, FBI, de a, T F. Capitol Police Bureau of Prisons, U S marshals in various counties from around only thing or various police force from around Arlington County cost the D C guard. They’re all located in the building. So they did the larger coordination there on then on the very various monuments, for example, that’s Department of Interior. That’s park police with the D C guards your specific to last year they were communicate cellphone, cellphone and or they would be co located face on. One guy would have the radio for his, particularly the National Guards were largely when, when we were communicating National Guard that was done over radio. I think it’s combination combination. We could be also figure that out to what was the method communication and lastly, if their ground communications, especially there and there wasn’t a communication over radio through the National guard the guard that the national used. I’m assuming that we have a transcript of the conversations that were happening, Um, that I’m not so sure. Could you check on that? Also, if it’s a military communication yet, I doubt there’s a transcript. Just if it’s a radio, I may be wrong, but I doubt it. Generally, Can you check to see if there’s any recordings specific to the date of June 1st or any other, uh, or any other recordings that police? Did he happen to do that? I’m not so sure about way confined out. Get thank you. Are you back in time? Thank you, Nurse. I do have one follow up question. Do either of you know who specifically gave the order to clear the protesters out of Lafayette Square ahead of the president’s visit to the church on June 1st? You said the guard was in support. Who gave the order on toe? Who? My yes, to clear the protesters out of that square. We’ve had that discussion a few times. We had it the other day with Secretary McCarthy and Major General Walker, and it’s still unclear to me who gave the direction to clear the park at that moment in time. See, I find that hard to believe. I’m sorry, but it’s like the pretty big decision. A lot of people there, everyone’s there, and it just sort of happened. No, I’m not saying I’m just saying, I don’t know. I have never enquired. I’ve never pursued it with anybody because we, you know, you get caught up on other things more relevant to How did you know to have the guard hold back? Because I think there’s a lot of testimony. Says the guard did not participate in the clearing. Where? Why not participate? I think, Congressman, that’s the We could actually get something from General Walker. Uh, I want to say I don’t want to quote him. I don’t want to get it wrong, but I want to say that he was on the ground with the park police and what they had asked him to do was to stay static, not move. And that was what he was operating from. I don’t know, um, when they decided to move forward, but he was on the ground. I know. He told me that yesterday or the day before and was clear on that piece. But beyond that, I may we get something from him to share with you. Chair and military, I think I don’t know with certainty, but I’m pretty sure that there was a planning session down the FBI building and legal late morning around noon ish or early afternoon where they divided up. Who was going to do what to whom made you don’t walkers their second McCarthyite in this from others there. And I think that’s where the agreement was as to where they would be as to who gave the order. I don’t know. I know Attorney General Barr spoke to that, uh, publicly on I know that it’s been mentioned Part police captain. Except her. I do not have personal knowledge. Is who gave that actual quarter to clear the Thank you, Mr Whitman, You’re recognized for five minutes. Sorry to surprise you there. What? Thank you, Mr Chairman. Like, thank our witnesses for joining us today. Um, General Milley, I’d like to go into a little little more depth. You answer the question about the training that our National Guardsmen have in responding to situations like we’ve seen here recently is we know most Americans Associate National Guard with response to natural disasters and that sort of role. They’re not used to seeing guardsmen in the role that we’ve seen them recently. You talk about some units being trained for that direct contact. But are there instances where AH Guard Unit may be called up? That doesn’t have that particular training? Or do they do they get the training across the full scope of what they may face? I understand how, how to how to organize, how to tactically address the situation. But there are other things to you know, the element of controlling emotions, all those sorts of things which are, you know, that I call it the depth of training. It’s not just just the immediate tactical, but it’s the depth of training to understand. Hey, if you get in this situation, we see police go through that training all the time to be able to deal with the adrenaline. The motions of the of the situation give us a little idea little more in depth that you talked about that your first National Guard unit of choice for civil unrest. Millet guesstimate is police. And remember, a lot of these guardsmen are also cops and their surveillance so but they’ll gets very specific training on the rules on the use of force. They’re not cops at the moment in time, so they’re not going to conduct arrest. But they can do temporary detention. They’re tasked with things like rules of conduct, crowd control, de escalation procedures, how to make parents don’t react a verbal, don’t react. A verbal provocations, etcetera. So this is a wide variety of training. They go through a lot of its vignette training in scenario training and STX type training. They do that during the course of the year. And then in this particular case, they got a quick refresher training as well, right? And they’re trained on their equipment and so on. So forth. In this particular case, you’re looking at batons and shields and then their personal protective gear. None of imagining weapons downtown. Uh, or right there, Lafayette’s so But they’re trained in all of that stuff on day are the forced the military force that we would first call for civil unrest of the National Guard Military police. And then you go from there with other types of units. Okay, Very good. Secretary Expert want to ask you a little bit about the 10 33 program. It obviously through time. Time gets a lot of attention with the equipment that is formerly used by the military that would be available to civilian law enforcement. And the question is, is you know, does that militarized the the police force? The question is always surround the central point of do civilian police forces need that? In what connection is there to the military being requested for that equipment in the termination they make as to whether or not it’s it’s applicability for that to be sent to civilian police force? Can you give us a little more laid down about what happens with 10 33 program? And does it just include the big equipment we hear about? Or is it things like, ah, protective equipment like vests and those sorts of piece of equipment your congressman is? You know, it’s a congressional program, right? And it’s not something I’ve studied in much detail, and I don’t think I could speak to what law enforcement deems has its requirements. It is something that I spoke with General angle about the other day, and it’s something that I hope will be that may come up is part of the after action review to get their assessment, if not internal, but with law enforcement. But there is a wide range of items that are covered under that program. I can’t pass judgment on some of the things I would say. I think we could all generally agree that if we have body armor, that would be helpful to the police to protect them. But beyond that, I’d like to wait and see how our review comes out. Or if you have specific questions I could take back and and maybe see if the guard wants to take a look at or somebody like that generally any. I wouldn’t I would say that like in the case of D. C, with all of those different forces uniforms, just simple uniforms as opposed to other types of equipment that became an issue and has brought up a little early with Bureau of Prisons are guys wearing camouflage uniforms, etcetera, some of these police or blue uniforms, other and camouflage, other and solid green, except that became in terms of the lessons learned, that would be something I put it in their asses faras distinguishing character because you want a clear definition between that which is military. And that which is police. Yes, in my and consistently you want police, local police, state police, federal police dealing with law enforcement stuff and, if necessary, National Guard under Governor Control. But you want a clear distinction that which is police visual visual distinction, that which is police and that which is military, because when you start introduced the military, you’re talking a different level of effort. There. Outside, the general’s time has expired. Mr. Esper is waving at me. And what do you have? Quick, They’re just real quick, one of things that we discussed the other day that needs that I want addresses in terms of equipment. At one point, the National Guard, for example, cross leveled. It’s it’s riot shields and lent them to the law enforcement. So if you saw police out there using a military police shield, it’s Cosby cross leveled, and that’s a lesson learned. If you’re gonna do that, then we gotta figure out a way to mask the name Military Police. So we don’t confuse who is actually doing the crowd control. Thank you. Mr Maltin’s recognized for five months this German. I learned very early in my marine training that there are two types of courage, physical and moral. Usually the toughest challenges that I face in Iraq required. Moral courage. And Mr Chairman, your apology for the events of June 1st at ST John’s Church was an act not just a contrition and rightly so, but also an act of moral courage. I want to commend you for that. It’s certainly unusual in this administration, Mr Chairman. You clearly recognize the value of unity not just in our military but in our country. Do you believe that other countries are various adversaries around the world are interested in taking advantage of divisions and unrest in our country? I not only believe that they would. I know they are this chairman. Are you willing to elaborate on that in any detail? Um, it would be best to do that in a classified session. Very well, no doubt in my mind, born adversarial countries are trying to take advantage of civil unrest in the United States. Well, I think it should go without saying that in fulfilling your primary job description to provide forthright military advice to the president a strongly advise you to advise him to work, to sew up these divisions rather than exacerbate them, as he likes to dio, as secretary Mattis and others have described in intimate detail. Miss Secretary Turning to you I don’t think you get to pick and choose which leaks you like, which weeks aren’t damaging versus what is an opsec problem. This White House routinely uses leaks to their advantage, but suddenly it’s a problem for their apologists. Now you and I have both commanded troops in combat, been responsible for their force protection. So I can assure you that I also don’t care about the mere semantics of an intelligence report and whether or not a particular word was used or not used, that proves nothing. What matters is a substance, and I have never seen in my time in combat when we didn’t take any threat to our troops seriously, regardless of the confidence in the intelligence report, which is never 100% whether it was leaked or not, we take action. So a very simple question. When were you made aware of Russian material support of the Taliban? We all know have been killing American troops in Afghanistan for years. And what action did you take, Congressman? Let me say on the first part of your of your statement, you talked about the credibility of threats and all that is you’ve heard us say that the reports we’re not have not been corroborated. Nonetheless, that made my understanding is that some intelligence agencies believe that there’s not a general consensus on that. The all the bottom line is all the defense intelligence agencies have been unable to corroborate that report. Do you want a point? You may let me say this. You may have seen my written statement that was put out on my behalf. What I said was, regardless, we we do, I do. He does. The commanders take all reports seriously, regardless of the degree of credibility or confidence. And I think that’s the point. You were trying to make it. Absolutely. I want to reassure you of that s o I. We have been in discussions with the commanders about this. Uh, I know General Miller and General Mackenzie going back as early as January. We’re looking into this, pulling the threads, taking appropriate force protection measures our troops are already at the highest force protection level. But nonetheless, it’s something that when I talked to them, I talked to them all the time. About how do we can’t we do better? How can we doom? Or so Mr Secretary, you mentioned January, right? What action did you take to counter Russia? Not to improve force protection of our troops, but to directly counter this threat from Russia s. So I didn’t see the first report until February, when it came out in a in a intelligence piece of paper. McKenna. I think General Mackenzie and General Miller, the chairman, will help me here. I’ve got some initial reporting on the ground that they began pursuing. Neither thought the reports were credible as they dug into them. And in the time we have seen General Miller was General Milley might be able to kind of add some more color to that. Yeah, I don’t I don’t wanna go too deep into the actual intel, but I’ve got multiple tours in Afghanistan. As you know, Congressman and I’m I’ve been aware of Russian meddling for years. I understand. But my best 2013 or what action did you take well, specifically a tactical and operational military action. There is no military action that that intelligence specifically wanted, like conductor Radiograph and a volunteer. Did you apologize? Say, But the Germans, time has expired. And that’s not a question I think is gonna be answered in the next couple of seconds. So Well, have to take that. For the record, I get back, get your answer. I’ll give you explicit and thank Mr uh, Mr Gates. Thank you, Mr Chairman. General Milley, I’ll allow you to respond toe Congressman Moulton specifically as it relates to the depth, duration and extent of the Russian malign influence campaign in Afghanistan and perhaps the extent to which that well predates the current administration. Well, first I want, Oh, be clear. It’s not just Russia that there’s many other countries that are influencing various actors in Afghanistan and they are influencing them with training, money, weapons, propaganda and international support and a lot of other things on. And I’m not going to source a mother’s how we know that. But we know that with respect to Russia, Russia’s one of those countries that’s been doing that for years, and they’re doing it for their own reasons, the military action for us, and they’re doing it through the Taliban and Haqqani and other groups. So the military action for us is the issue. First and foremost is force protection. Regardless of who’s providing weapons or who providing money. Our force protection measures are at the highest levels, and we’re going to stay at the highest levels as long as we have troops out there s O. But just that I could focus the question. But I want to go toe what we’re doing for action. So with the tactical and operational level, there’s no particular military action that we’re not doing that we should be doing. The issue is higher than that. The issue is at the strategic level. What should or could we be doing? At the strategic level is their diplomatic and informational and economic Of the sanctions of the D marshes are their phone calls of their pressure, those sorts of things. And I can tell you that some of that is done. Are we doing as much as we could or should? Perhaps not, not only to the Russians but the others, but a lot of it is being done. Some of its quiet, so it’s not so quiet. But don’t think that we’re not doing anything because that’s not true. Now I want to get to specifically to the bounty, specifically to the bounties. That is a unique, discreet piece of information that is not corroborated. You’ve all been briefed on it. I have to, and I am. I am the secretary, and many others are taking it serious. We’re gonna get to the bottom of it. We’re gonna find out if in fact it’s true. And if it is true, we will take action. And I’m glad you mentioned the other countries. September 5th 2010. This is from the Times of London. Iran pays the Taliban to kill U. S. Soldiers, then also following up on that There’s a December 2nd 2015 report from Fox News Report. Iran paying Taliban to kill U. S troops. Mr. Chairman, I seek unanimous consent and these in the record without objection, said word. And General Milley, is it is it safe to say given these reports, along with the testimony you just provided that the environment in Afghanistan, the very nature of the place and the very nature of the entities involved means that our presence there does create these risks where our foreign adversaries create incentives and resource is and opportunities for our service members toe be harmed. Any time you commit U. S military forces anywhere on earth, there’s gonna be risk. We went to Afghanistan for a single purpose. To prevent Afghanistan from ever being a platform to attack the United States of America with terrorists on. We’ve been there ever since. To do that, we’re drawing down forces in accordance with the agreement that was signed with the Taliban last February. That hasn’t been significant Taliban or Hakani attacks on U. S. Forces since that agreement was signed and for the direction of president says we are drawing down forces as you’ll see unfold, and you’ll be briefed on that in full coming into the fall. But there’s always risk cars, and I know you know that there’s always risk. There’s nothing risk free here. It’s a risk I know you both appreciate. Given your service to the country, it’s a risk. I know. The president appreciates I I’ve had the occasion to join him at Dover when my constituents have come back for dignified transfer and that risk being so ever president president seems to accentuate the importance of your mission to draw down troops, to create some semblance of normalcy in Afghanistan, to the extent to which that’s even possible. And I believe that it is an unrealistic goal to say that we have to chase every terrorist into every cave forever and stay there forever in order to protect the homeland. I think that we’ve proven that we can be more resilient at home without being mawr extended abroad, and that after 1920 years in Afghanistan, our nation is growing very weary of this, were growing weary of the dignified transfers, were growing weary of the cost in terms of blood and treasure. And we grow weary of these circumstances where our adversaries not just Russia but Iran and others that are in the region, utilize our continued presence, the utilize our our might. I say you’re unfocused extension of this conflict to try to harm Americans. So I wish you godspeed in the mission that you’re on to draw down this forces. And I thank you for giving us the briefing and certainly for enlightening us to the fact that this was not some sermons. Time has expired. Thank you. Mr Mr Carvajal is recognized for five minutes. Thank you, Mr Chairman, Chairman Billy and Secretary Expert. Thank you for joining us today to cover these very important issues to my questions. I want to take a moment to mention specialist Vanessa Gill and Gillian, who disappeared from Fort Hood in it, after combining in her family that she had been sexually harassed by Sergeant her remains with magic out of days ago. I’m sure you’re both aware of her story. I expect that you will do everything in your power to ensure that a full an independent investigation is completed and continue to work to make our military welcoming and sick for our female service members. As for today’s topics, but you notice your testimonies, our country is going through a period of anger and self reflection regarding how our society treats and includes certain members of our nation. While I appreciate your words, actions speak louder. Secretary s for concrete steps. Have you already taken? And what other immediate actions in the coming months to ensure that diversity is substantially value and it at all levels of our military it’s that that’s the officer makes Congressman Thank you. And first of all of you mentioned special ski. And what a terrible tragedy. Murder. It’s just horrible, tragic story, and I still for the family, and they have my deepest sympathies and condolences and way will conduct a full and thorough investigation and get to the bottom of all that happened and hold those accountable as appropriate. Uh, with that, your question is, ah is spot on. But we recognize that race is a problem in the military across the nation. Discrimination, prejudice, bias. I talked about my quick, quick action items. I have a list. I’ll probably put that out next week in terms of immediate things. With that, we will do to start getting rid of ah, hidden bias in the military, such as removing photographs from promotion boards. But I’ve also had the privilege over the last three weeks toe hold over 1/2 dozen listening sessions with soldiers, sailors, airman of all ranks across the country and simply listen, beginning the conversation alone is something we’ve never really done, and the chance to sit down with these young men and women. I probably spent a total of 10 hours or so just listening, having the having discussion, understand that we don’t even have the right terms and language and understandings of the definitions to have such a tough conversation, and I sat through many of them, so that’ll be that’ll be part of what we’re gonna begin. But I think in terms of standing up the defense board and ultimately the Defense Advisory Committee that is mirrored on Dacca wits, I want to believe in some ways it’s an historic step of a major step forward to really get at this underlying issue that is hung around the neck of our country for for ah well over 200 years and to address the fundamental problems of racism and discrimination, prejudice and bias, both conscious and unconscious. Because at the end of day 60 0 D. It’s about having a competive unified, ready force, and we rely heavily on persons from all backgrounds, creeds, races, ethnicities, genders, etcetera to make us the greatest fighting force in the world. Thank you, Sectarian. But when I asked another question, general 1,000,000 Secretary expert, I would like to also take a moment to command you regarding the statements you May, uh, at Lafayette Square. Being there in Phil Fatigues, you state that it was a mistake and you learn from it. I believe over the last month there are many moments we cannot learn from. Regret is one thing, But what would you do? Different in a similar situation? And while I understand we are winning reports on specific instances such as the low flying National Guard helicopters and reconnaissance planes, Well, absence has the department learned about its response? And how would you? How are you both working to make improvements? You know, Congressman, one of the you go back to the June 1st the evening of June 1st it became apparent to me late that evening, I think chairman of Millie and I had spent a couple hours walking around D. C. Speaking to the soldiers were the World War Two memorial, the Jefferson Memorial. It ah, you know, beefing became very clear that we needed to speak on this topic. And if you recall and I think I entered into the record, Mr Chairman, already, I put I put a statement out to the force within 18 hours or so. That said very clearly. Ah, that we have a nose to the Constitution and that is our sworn off to protect and defend the American people and to give the American people the freedom to peaceably assemble and offer their there’s their speech and that we, at all times must do our best to remain in a political institution. That, I believe, is why we have the highest regard respect in the country and have maintained about 20 years. Miss, Mr Carl, your time is I apologize, Mr Carver. All your your time has expires, Miss Hartzell, you’re recognized for five minutes. Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen. First of all, I want to commend you for the amazing professional job that you all have done, especially the National Guardsmen in very, very difficult situations. Mr. Secretary, you just mentioned through the the oath to defend our First Amendment rights and just to review that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise that there of or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievance. what I have seen. What this country has witnessed in the last few weeks, I would argue, has not been peaceable in many times. And the National Guardsmen, these brave men and women who have volunteered and left their home to protect their country. They have faced with only batons and shields. They’ve been yelled at called names that are unbelievable. They’ve had bricks thrown at them. They’ve been shoved, They’ve had frozen water bottles thrown at him. I’ve seen on TV fireworks being shot at them, and they have stood there. They have professionally taken it. They have defended our monuments and our treasures, and I just want to commend them at the same time. I want to denounce these actions of some Americans, and this is violence. This is not peaceably assembling, and it should be treated as such as such. And we’ve had questions about training. And Mr Secretary, I know you were just at Fort Leonard Wood a couple weeks ago, and our community was so thrilled to host you. And I know that you have seen their missions there, including being home of the army’s military police school, and hopefully you’ve seen that we have room to expand, and we’ve heard a little bit about the training. I’m wondering if you think it would be helpful to have centralized training to ensure consistency across all of the armed forces in military police action, civil unrest, behaviors. And it’s a good, good question. Congresswoman, I would like to take that back, certainly for the National Guard and how they train. You know, it is very important that particular for the guard that has. This is a mission essential task to make sure that we have a solid baseline. But I like I like to be deliberate, thoughtful on these things and get back to you. Thank you, you dad. It typically, Congresswoman, it’s not possible to be centralized training, given the scale of the military in terms of the numbers. So what is typically done is training is centrally planned. The task conditions of standards, training and doctrine commands of each of the services lay out all the requirements on, and then it is distributed for execution by unit commanders. That’s for the forces that are in the operational force. All of the units and all the different services go through the training school house. Eso having one central location for all things civil disturbance that could be okay for doctrine for task conditions. Standards toe Lay that out. And that is typically with what everyone does. But then the execution of the actual training that needs to be more decentralized and distributed. All right. Thank you. Uh, the Insurrection Act has been mentioned as well, and you were asked a lot of questions where you’re supposed to ask yes or no. So I’ll carry on that for just one more question. Do you realize that the Insurrection Act was not acted on in this recent in the recent days? Yes. Yes. OK, now that we have that clear, could there be scenarios in the future for a president where perhaps a insurrection act might be, um, you utilized and and could be helpful. Congressman, let me answer this way. Rather speculating. And off. Let me let me offer history. The Insurrection Act was used in 1957 by President Eisenhower Teoh federalize the guard in Arkansas and to also called the 100 or 401st Airborne Division in order to protect nine African American students. Notice the little Rock nine so that they can go to school. It’s called up in 1962 by President Kennedy to federalize Mississippi National Guard to secure the University of Mississippi, Oxford in Lord and Short. James MEREDITH, an African American Air Force veteran, could go to school. The military police remained there for over a year. 1965. President Johnson deployed active duty forces to protect peaceful protest marchers in Alabama to ensure that they could put protest peacefully. Opposing believes segregation and affirming their First Amendment rights. So if you look in history, you can see where the Insurrection Act was used to advance civil rights and in a very positive way that our history accounts fairly well. Thank you. Are you bet. Thank you. Mr. Brown is recognized for five minutes. Thank you, Mr Chairman. I have two questions. I will ask them quickly and I hope that you can answer that briefly. The first for you, General Milley. I know that you are excluding of history, history of warriors and warfare of the United States and our armed forces. And you used that knowledge and understanding of our history to guide your decisions and thinking. You not only understand, but you embody the values that we live by and that we die by soldiers. Can you comment on the naming of Army installations after Confederate soldiers doesn’t reflect the values that we instill soldiers? Are these Confederate officers held up its role in the military? Does it help or hurt the morale or unit cohesion of service members, particularly that of the black and Brown Service members who live and serve on these installations today? Carson, Um, we’ve had a lot of discussions in the department, defense and the Joint Chiefs and amongst the senior leaders on that very topic. I’ll give you a couple of things to think about. I personally, I think that the original decisions to name those bases after Confederate generals of the 10 basically talking about in the Army Those were political decisions back in the 19 tens and twenties and thirties and World War Two time for 100 years ago. Uh, and they’re gonna be political decisions today. The military equity here is divisiveness. And as you mentioned, cohesion, 43% of the United States military are minorities. And, uh, in the army, for example, these are army bases you’re talking about were up 20 plus percent African American, and in some units you’ll see 30%. And for those young soldiers that go onto a base, ah, Fort Hood or Fort Bragg or wherever named after Confederate General, they could be reminded that that General fought for an institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their one of their ancestors. I had a staff sergeant when I was young officer who actually told me that at Fort Bragg On, he said. He went to work every day on a base, that representative guy who enslaved his grandparents. So the symbols of it’s not just that, you know, we have to improve the substance of promotions except in the military. But we’ve also got to take a hard look at the symbology, the symbols, things like Confederate flags and statues and bases and all that going to stop the Confederate, the Confederacy, the American Civil War. I was five, and it was an act of rebellion. It was an act of treason at the time against the Union against the Stars and Stripes against the U. S. Constitution, and those officers turned their back on their own. Now some have a different view of that. Some of that. Some think it’s heritage. Others think it’s hate what way we should do. It matters as much as that. We should do it. So we need to have, uh I’ve recommended a commission of folks to take a hard look at the base is the statues that names all of this stuff to see if we can have rational Billy. I appreciate I do want to get to a secretary. Asper. I got it. I want to take a moment to thank you, Secretary, for clarifying your position on the use of force and deployment of our military against civilians. Exercise their constitutional rights to assemble to petition our government and peacefully protest. Mr. Secretary, As you stated in your June 17th statement, we strive to create an environment of diversity and inclusion in the military. You specifically stated removing bias and prejudice in all its forms and ensuring equal opportunity and respect for all will make a stronger, more capable and more ready as a joint force. Last month, both the U. S. For three core and U. S Navy announced plans to ban the cat Confederate flag and associated Kim injury on bases and installations around the world. This symbol honors those who fought at General Milley makes into maintain oppression and slavery. Furthermore, the Confederate flag Jews, albeit by everyone used by white supremacists and other organizations chicken to spread, hate and racism. In the end, racism in the day a include a provision to banish display on all department property. But I believe that immediate action should be taken because your plan regarding a department wide ban of this symbol Thanks, Congressman First Ball would be again, You know, echo what you said about the National Guard. I’m reminded this is a use of force card. It was handout that D C guard and here promptly and bold says, Remember to preserve the peace and allow fellow Americans to peacefully assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights. That’s what our guard was trained on when they were when they were operating in D. C. Look, we I have a process under way by which look at a number of issues, both substantive and symbolic. Uh, it’ll be a combination of Defense Board and the advisory committee. We want to take a look at the at all those things. There is a process under way by which we ah, firm. And I’m sorry, Mr J, if you could wrap up quickly, the generals time has expired, which we affirm. What what? Types of flags were authorized on US military bases. I want to make sure that we have an approach that is enduring that could withstand legal challenge. But that unites us and, most importantly, helps build cohesion and readiness. And again, that process is underway. And I think that Yes, sir. Just Mr Mr Waltz. Mr. Waltz, you’re recognized for finance. Thank you, Mr Chairman. At Mr Secretary. Uh, no 1,000,000 men are being. I only want people. I’m sorry, Mr Waltz. You are. You are deep in the water here. We cannot understand you. Can you give it one more quick try or we may have to Tavon. Okay. How are we doing now? Much better. Go. I just want to commend the guard of my understandings. We have over 70,000 units. Roughly six division currently deployed for the homeland and overseas. That’s where Kobe. That’s for civil unrest. That for on going overseas missions, we haven’t even gotten into hurricane season and border while IRS, others Mr Secretary, The guards defense strategy points demographic and economic trends that that are critical for where we have the force structure around the country and says that it must be prepared to reap resistant guard force structure in light of those shifting trends, particularly shifting population, which, as we know it could barely drastically over the last several decades. Yet the force structure has a hasn’t followed. In fact, in Florida folder right now ranks 53 out of 54 states and territories in terms of the size of a bar of its population. Yeah, I think we don’t know. With every every hurricane bearing down every season while another use you come back to the No, I mean well, let go. We’re hearing in appearance. I’m sorry, mister. What’s again? Well, we’ve got the walls, but we can’t understand you. I think the first part of your question was reasonably clear. Mr. Esper, if you wanted to take a stab at the guard situation in Florida, answer that If you can take a shot. Thank you, Mr Chairman and Mr Waltz. Thank you. I think from what I caught, I I’ll follow up with you offline. I think you were talking about disposition or maybe the composition of Guard forces in Florida and how it’s changed over time. We’re not with demographics, so maybe I’ll just follow up with you offline. And I think you asked that we have a conversation with General Angle. That’s what I took from that. Yeah. Mr. Chairman, if if if, if you could hear me, just a slight tweet there, it’s It’s nationwide. It’s how the guard is shifting. Left population flows on perfectly. We’re looking for capital. No quarter populations of double since 19 eighties that its border names back with that one. Uh, yeah, you’re you’re breaking up. I apologize. We’re gonna have to move on with. We’ve got a living amount time. We’ll get that back back to him, but we cannot hear you properly. So we’re gonna move on to Mr Keating. He’s recognized for five minutes. Thank you, Mr Chairman. Secretary. Chairman. Thank you for your straightforward way. You’re addressing Lafayette Square issue and civil Law Enforcement. Appreciate that. I want to circle back before we’re done because I know how a video clip on work Secretary Esper you were asked, I believe by Mr Turner about bounties, and I won’t be clear. The question was asked, was the word bounties used in reports that you might have reviewed regarding attacks on our troops? So let me be clear. You can acknowledge sensory knowledge. There was no bounties that, indeed, there were reports that mentioned payments. Is that correct? Congressman? That’s correct. I was responded to the specific question of Do I recall use of the word bounties? And I think what I said is I do not read up what we call the use of that word correctly. But I didn’t want a sound bite at the end of this hearing coming out that said that you said that you never saw a report on Bumpy so that I always I always try to avoid politics. Congressman. In any case, I didn’t want you to be drawn into it unnecessarily. How’s that in anything? Director Haskell Haskell C. I. A director hospital, just in the last few days has said how important it is for force protection, that the dissemination of information occurs and shared to all national security community members. Obviously to you, all of you and an on going effort to secure our troops. So she also was underscored. Clearly that immediate versus delayed dissemination of that information boards is critical. Are you satisfied that you’re getting immediate transfer of this intelligence from our other agencies? So if it’s believed to act on that and you state that for the record that you don’t perceive any delays that this is really live time seven issue to you, Congressman, I get a lot of reports every day, an inch thick of material. I try and get through and read through. I know, uh, the hill. This committee gets reports as well. You and I think you saw the same reports that I saw on this topic. It’s it’s hard for me to gauge, uh, Tommy nous because I don’t know when they start or when they get it. But, you know, clear there’s a a process part of this analysis part that that once they get information converting it in prostate converting and intelligence all that happened, I just don’t have a sense of the time. I can follow up with her on that offline. Please do, because it’s it’s essential that you get that information. I also want to know independently, you know, Some of these unsourced reports do a lot for family members. I come from a family. We lost a family member in action and particularly reports around 2019. The casualties that were there, soldiers we lost. Could you tell us independently? You looking into those as well? Given the intelligence you have particularly 3 April 2019 suicide bombing outside of Bagram airbase that killed three of our U. S. Marines. Are you looking at least this independently? Based on the intelligence you have, congressman number? First of all, I share the concern and a condolences. Still, to the family of those Marines I believe who were lost. Let me say this much and I’ll ask Chairman 1,000,000 to jump in here. General Mackenzie is looking back over over time. I think he stated publicly as well as he doesn’t see cause algae with that one. And I believe that I got a separate report from one of my intelligence agencies saying they cannot find any corroborating evidence with regard to that alleged program with regard to that attack on those three Marines. But Chairman guardsmen it as of today. Right now, we don’t have cause and effect linkages to a Russian bounty program causing US military casualties. However, we are still looking. We’re not done. We’re gonna run this thing to ground. Yeah, well, thank you. And it just is clarification from intelligence point without being wonky. I mean, cooperation usually is in a term that’s used, but it’s usually remote, you know? Improbable. Even odds. Probable, Highly probable. Those kind of or certain those the kind of intelligence terms that are done linking things together out you back. I’m actually giving back sometimes. Thank you, Mr Villain. Recognized refinements. Thank you, Mr Chairman. Six. Secretary Esper and Chairman Millie. I’ve got two questions in whatever time is left. I’d like to yield to miss locked so that she could get ready for that. But my first question refers to Vanessa GM that Mr Carvajal brought up in. What I’d like to do is I’m sure you’re both as disturbed as we all are, by the events leading to and what I’d like to do is give you an opportunity. Sure. Family members in my district and would like to give you the opportunity to tell that family what we’re going to do to make sure that those sorts of things don’t happen again, Congressman, let me first go first and speak to you, but more importantly, the family and just express our sincere condolences regarding what happened to specialist Guiana. It’s tragic. It’s horrible. I watched this over the preceding couple months in terms of how it unfolded. I can’t imagine the despair of the parents not knowing what they’re the fate of their daughter. And it’s just a terrible incident. I spoke yesterday or the day before. The secretary McCarthy, they’re on top of that is you know, they have ah couple suspects. Ah, I think have been arrested on their depict digging deeply into the investigation. I think we need Teoh continue to pursue that and take a hard look at that. And then, you know, we could got to continue to work at the what is believed to be the underlying issue, the underlying issue and that was she was sexually harassed, if not assaulted by the soldier in question. That is something that it continues to be a stain on on the profession. We’ve made a lot of progress over 10 years, but nowhere near we need to be. We need to get the zero tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault. And we need to make sure that everybody in our ranks knows where they can go to for help where they can find help. And we got to continue to emphasize that we’ve got to continue toe, empower the chain of command to make sure we do everything possible to make sure that we never have another incident like what happened to special ski hand on DSO. That is my commitment. And, uh, I know it’s the chairman’s commitment as well. Chairman. Yeah, I would echo everything the secretary said. I a za father, um, of a daughter that that’s just a nightmare. I mean, it’s a my heart bleeds for that family, and I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through. Uh, but I want them to know that we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that that doesn’t happen again. Um, I don’t know all the details. A full investigation will come out by Secretary McCarthy, I suspect, although I don’t know that they were probably some mis signals. And one of the key lessons that we’ve learned, uh, in other situations is when we do get early warning, it’s to take action on take action swiftly and appropriately s. So I think that will. My guess is that will probably come out in this pain on that will be one of the things we need to implement for the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Well, thanks to both of you, my question Eyes for you, Secretary expert. And you recently extended the deployment of 4000 troops, uh, to the southern border on what I’m wondering isn’t just today in the Rio Grande Valley, the hospitals were forced to set up tense to serve as I see you, units. And I’m wondering if there is any consideration being given to using those troops to help support local efforts to confront the Corona virus pandemic. Congressman, I answer your question two ways 1st 1st of all, you’re right. We did extend reduced it, but extended the deployment were there is, you know, and supported the Department of Homeland Security. And as they give us mission statements, we try and be responsive and supportive of what they do in this case, if they need additional medical support, that is clearly something that we could provide if needed. I think beyond that, unless I misunderstood your question, we certainly are now reacting to incoming requests from FEMA. I spoke to Director Gaynor the other night with regard to covitz spikes in Texas throughout Texas. As you may or may not know, we have already deployed a team of medical personnel to assist in Texas, and we are on the alert and looking for outbreaks in other states. Such a zoo Arizona, Florida, California. To make sure that we are responsive to the American people in terms of dealing with any outbreaks. It may happen around the country and the Germans. Time has has expired. Um, Miss Kim is recognized. Thank you so much for coming out here and talking to us today. As you referred earlier. Many of us, uh, members were briefed here in this room earlier today about about the intelligence and about what we know about possible Russian payments to the Taliban or militants to kill American soldiers and service members in Afghanistan. Uh, I have to tell you, leaving aside the discussions about whether or not there is sufficient evidence regarding possible bounties or payments, whatever we want to call it. I have to say that the intelligence and what we know about Russian efforts in Afghanistan were large. Targeting our personnel is deeply concerning to me. In General Milley, you made reference to this saying that this is something that we’ve known for point sometime in quite a number of years. I just wanted to ask this question. I couldn’t help a wallet in this room getting this brief and think about a previous time that we’ve been in this exact room together, a two beginning of this year talking about Iran. And at that time, Secretary Esper and others were talking about how there was a threat to our personnel with regards to our personnel in Iraq in the region due to Iranians and a running back militias. So I want to just hear from you both of these incidences of what we know what we do know about Russia’s involvement in Afghanistan. Both of them evolve another ancient arming and directing militants to kill American service members or target American service members abroad. Yet I see two very different reactions to this coming from from you from the administration. So I wanted to ask for your explanation of what is the difference in the posture there between what our conversations in January as what we’re having today? Secretary expert. So Congressman, I think they’re very to two very different situations. So with regard Iran, you had a case of the head of the IRGC, which is designated by United States as a foreign terrorist organization. He was the foreign terrorist leader of that foreign terrorist organization. He had the blood of 100 hundreds of Americans going back many, many years on his hands. He had orchestrated the rocket attacks that had preceded that had occurred in that December. And we had clear, credible, credible information. He was planning additional tax on American personnel in the region. So very different circumstance between what we saw. The evidence. We had our understanding of the threat in in in, ah, in, uh, Iraq, that was being on that battlefield that was being orchestrated by Solo Mahaney. And it was the clear consensus of the president’s national security team that that he was a legitimate target again, very different from information we’re picking up with regard. Teoh Rush, etcetera. But Chairman, I don’t know if you want to add anything. I want a key on something, said Congressman. We’ve been aware for some time of Russian involvement or rainy involvement or Pakistani or Chinese involvement in other countries. But there’s a big distinction between arming and directing. We know about arms. We know about weapons. We know about support and things like that we don’t have. In the case of the Russians, we do not have concrete corroborating evidence intelligence to show directing. That’s big difference. And if we did, it would be different response to so. But that’s what I’m saying. We’re not done looking. We’re gonna dig into this. We’re gonna get to the bottom of it. This bounty thing, uh, if in fact this Bonny’s I am I’m an outrage general, just like everyone of us in uniform is. If, in fact, there’s bounties directed by the government of Russia or any of their institutions to kill American soldiers, that’s a big deal. That’s a really big deal. We don’t have that level of fidelity yet. We’re still looking well, will continue to go through the intelligence with you, regardless of whether the payments were made. I felt that there was significant information there about directing, but again, we’ll continue that conversation going forward. Congressman. Just Chris, were you able to get the briefing today? Ideas. OK, that’s right. Just one last question. When we talked about the National Guard being utilized, you were talking General Milley about the training that they often get. Yet when we looked at it, out of the 5100 guards, guards, men and women who were here in D. C last month, only 100 54 from the D. C. National Guard with military police 26 security forces from other states, only 83 were military police and four were security forces. That’s 5% out of the 5100 Secretary s for when you send out your notice of emergency planning your focused on active duty military police units. Why was that knocked on the same for our guards in terms of prioritizing military police personnel. And this will have to conclude, um I understand Secretary has has to go. We’re over time. So up to you. How long you wish to answer that question and then we’re We will be done. Go ahead. I probably chairman may be better situated, but you know every soldier undergoes a certain level training, and of course we would not. I asked him to perform mission if they weren’t briefed on the rules of engagement and had a basic level training. But your point is, a fair one is. We try and prioritise as a chairman note earlier. The best for these situations would be military police units. But you also have to go with what you have available at the time to do that. And that’s why I’m so proud of our guardsmen, who were many cases performing missions that weren’t core missions but where a core mission as a soldier or airman, Thank you. I will say. There were a lot of members who do not have an opt in your question. I understand the secretary does have to go. We would like to have the opportunity to Smith those questions for the record and get answers as quickly as possible. Um, and with that, we are jarred

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