Former President Donald Trump appeared to confuse his Republican presidential primary opponent former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a rally in New Hampshire on Friday.
Speaking in Concord, Trump said that Haley, his former ambassador to the United Nations, had been responsible for the collapse of Capitol Hill security during the January 6, 2021, riot. Trump has previously blamed Pelosi for turning down National Guard support before the riot.
During his speech, Trump remarked that Haley’s crowd sizes at campaign events in the Granite State were small compared to his, before going off on a tangent about the crowd size at his January 6 rally in 2021.
“You know, by the way, they never report the crowd on January 6, you know, Nikki Haley. Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, you know, they — did you know they destroyed all the information and all of the evidence. Everything. Deleted and destroyed all of it, all of it, because of lots of things, like Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guard. So whatever they want, they turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that. These are very dishonest people,” Trump said.
Trump’s repeated mentions of Haley appear to be mistaken references to Pelosi. In September, Trump gave an interview to NBC News during which he said Pelosi “is responsible for January 6.”
“Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security. She turned down 10,000 soldiers. If she didn’t turn down the soldiers, you wouldn’t have had January 6,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker during the rare sit-down interview at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump declined to answer whether he had called military or law enforcement that day, saying, “I behaved so well, I did such a good job, Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 soldiers . . . if she didn’t do that . . . ” Welker challenged Trump that Pelosi did not have the authority he had as commander in chief.
Pelosi’s office told Fox News Digital at the time that Trump’s allegations “are completely made up.”
The decision on whether to call National Guard troops to the Capitol is made by what is known as the Capitol Police Board, which is made up of the House sergeant at arms, the Senate sergeant at arms and the architect of the Capitol. The board decided not to call the Guard ahead of January 6 but did eventually request assistance after the rioting had already begun, and the troops arrived several hours later, according to the Associated Press.
The House sergeant at arms reported to Pelosi, and the Senate sergeant at arms reported to Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Republican who was then Senate majority leader.
The officials on the board, along with the former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, have disputed each other’s accounts of who requested the Guard and when. Both sergeants at arms and the police chief resigned immediately after the attack. The Democrat-led January 6 House Committee never subpoenaed Pelosi.
Sund claimed to the Washington Post in an interview that he had requested assistance six times ahead of and during the attack on the Capitol, but each of those requests was denied or delayed. He claimed that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving had been concerned with the “optics” of declaring an emergency ahead of the demonstrations and rejected a National Guard presence.
Haley reacted to the mix-up at a campaign event in Keene, New Hampshire, on Saturday.
“Last night, Trump is at a rally, and he’s going on and on, mentioning me multiple times as to why I didn’t take security during the Capitol riots. Why didn’t I handle January 6 better? I wasn’t even in D.C. on January 6th! I wasn’t in office then,” Haley told the crowd.
“They’re saying he got confused, that he was talking about something else, he was talking about Nancy Pelosi. He mentioned me multiple times in that scenario,” she said, raising concerns that Trump may not be “mentally fit” to handle the pressure of the presidency.
Trump will turn 78 in June and, should he win a second term as president, finish his time in the White House at age 82. President Biden is currently 81 years old and would be 86 if he leaves office after completing a second term.
Haley has previously called for mental competency tests for office holders over the age of 75. In September, she referred to the United States Senate as the “most privileged nursing home in the country,” and she has questioned whether Biden and Trump are fit to serve as president at their respective ages.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
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