Photos of National Guard members sprawled out across the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning have circulated widely online.
Gut check: For many Twitter commentators, the images captured the surreal state of the American republic following last Wednesday’s violent takeover of Congress by a group of pro-Trump protesters.
“A very different scene here in the Capitol today,” noted NBC News reporter Haley Talbot.
“This is where we are at,” said Axios reporter Jonathan Swan.
Others, like former guardsman-turned journalist Scott Shuey, expressed gratitude for the service of the troops who had to sleep on hard marble floors.
Meanwhile, mathematician and cultural critic James Lindsay predicted: “Whatever the media’s interpretation of this might be, the truth is almost definitely the most opposite thing that isn’t 100% wrong.”
A Defense Department official on Wednesday told ABC News the snoozing National Guard members were on breaks.
- He noted that it’s not uncommon to see guardsmen taking breaks during long shifts on domestic or overseas deployments.
Status report: The guardsmen in the Capitol are among thousands who have been sent to Washington, D.C., in recent days to protect a peaceful transfer of power.
- The National Guard has reportedly been authorized to deploy to the city as many as 20,000 troops — more than three times the number in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
Later on Wednesday, the House plans to vote on a second impeachment of President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting last week’s deadly violence, which Democrats are calling an insurrection.