The National Guard received no offer to stay at Trump Hotel in Washington
CLAIM: Donald Trump invited National Guard members to stay at Trump Hotel in Washington so they don’t have to sleep in a cold parking garage.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A spokesperson with the National Guard Bureau told The Associated Press they had not received any offers to stay at Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., the former president’s hotel. The National Guard members assigned to Washington were all provided hotel rooms by the military. The issue that arose last week was over where the troops could take rest breaks.
THE FACTS: On Thursday, images circulated widely showing National Guard troops camped on a parking garage floor after thousands of members were sent to secure Washington for President Joe Biden’s inauguration. House and Senate members of both parties were furious over reports that guard members were forced to leave the U.S. Capitol where they were assigned to take rest breaks outside building, the AP reported.
Social media posts picked up the reports claiming that Trump _ who is facing an impeachment trial for fueling the Capitol insurrection _ had offered guard members the chance to stay at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Trump is the only president to be twice impeached, and the first to be prosecuted after leaving office.
“Trump has apparently given permission for National Guard troops to stay at his hotel. This is a real leader,” read a Facebook post that has been shared 14,000 times.
“President Trump said he is opening his entire Trump Hotel in Washington, DC to the National Guard troops whom President Biden and the Democrats literally kicked to the curb, having sent them to bed down in the unheated Capitol parking garage with no food and only one toilet for 1,000s of men. God bless President Trump!!!” read another Facebook post.
“Most media won’t tell you that TRUMP HAS OFFERED THE NATIONAL GUARD STILL REMAINING IN D.C. to stay at his hotel, rather than sleep on the garage cold floor,” another Facebook post stated.
But Guard officials say no such offer was ever communicated.
“We have not received any offers at the National Guard Bureau,” Maj. Matt Murphy, media relations officer at the bureau, told the AP in an email.
A spokesperson at Trump International Hotel in Washington declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.
Captain Chelsi Johnson, a spokesperson for the D.C. National Guard, told the AP that all troops participating in this mission already had hotel rooms to go back to at the end of their shifts.
“For this mission we are not lodging any National Guard troops at the Trump Hotel,” Johnson said.
The guard members who appeared in photographs in the garage were on rest breaks while on duty at the Capitol. There is a plan to keep roughly 7,000 troops on duty in Washington, out of the 25,000 sent to secure the inauguration, according to the National Guard.
The AP reported the National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The guard members were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold.
The National Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they coordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks, according to AP reporting.
“You stand 12 hours on your feet, you want to take a break,” Army Maj. Gen. William J. Walker stated in a briefing on Monday, noting that guard members have hotel rooms and were taking rest breaks in the garage. “Nobody slept there. Nobody spent the night there.”
Some photos circulated online on Friday that appeared to show some troops inside of Trump Hotel, though the photos were first posted before claims that Trump had offered his hotel to them. Johnson told the AP, “National Guard troops can rest in between their shifts at a location of their choosing.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536