Fact check: National Guard members didn't turn away from Biden's Inauguration Day motorcade in dissent
Claim: Video shows members of the National Guard who have turned away from Biden's motorcade
History will commemorate President Joe Biden's inauguration because of his many anomalies, including the 26,000 National Guard members who came to Washington for extra security after pro-Trump rioters breached the U.S. Capitol two weeks earlier. While tensions were high on the day of the inauguration, a viral video shows no guards insulting Biden, as online opponents claim.
A 21-second video titled "Troops Return to Biden As Motorcade Goes By" shows guards standing along a street with some of their backs turned away from the president's motorcade. The video was captured from inside a vehicle as it passed dozens of service members standing in groups looking in different directions.
Some viewers claimed the video was evidence that members of the National Guard preferred Donald Trump as president and turned their backs on Biden.
"You also know he's out of wedlock," commented one viewer. "It's getting clearer every day."
"Everyone knows he cheated to become president and no one with common sense wanted him," one wrote.
"The ultimate mark of disrespect," added another. "We do not recognize you as our commander-in-chief."
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The Robert A. Taft Memorial and Carillon, located one block from the Capitol, can be seen in the video behind the guards.
A version of the video shared by multiple YouTube channels and far-right conspiracy theorist InfoWars has received more than 221,000 views since its inauguration day.
USA TODAY contacted the YouTube channel for comment.
The National Guard is stationed in Lincoln Park as security around the nation's Capitol is tightened during the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.
An ABC reporter who recorded a video and the National Guard confirm that the setback was part of the security record
The video was originally posted on Twitter by Ines de La Cuetara of ABC News on Jan. 20 at 10:32 am. Biden and Harris arrived at the Capitol around 10:30 am.
"The view from Biden's motorcade on the way to the Capitol," La Cuetara described the video.
ABC confirmed to the Associated Press that it recorded the video as part of Biden's press pool while driving the motorcade.
The following day, de La Cuetara addressed confusion over the video with a quote from the National Guard on a Twitter thread.
"National Guard to ABC:" These National Guardsmen had the task of protecting the President from possible threats. Some are committed to ensuring everyone's safety, ”she clarified.
The National Guard shared the same statement with Snopes, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP and PolitiFact. "This was a perimeter, not a parade," Nahaku McFadden, spokesman for the National Guard Bureau, told AFP.
Service members have already followed this protocol to protect the president's motorcades from external threats. The video of the motorcade of Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump shows service members standing away from the motorcade.
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Our assessment: Lack of context
We rate the video clip of members of the National Guard with their backs to Joe Biden's motorcade on inauguration day as MISSING CONTEXT as it could be misleading without additional information. The reporter who recorded the viral video and the National Guard confirm that the troops were exposed to different directions in order to adequately protect Biden from security threats. Service members have used this protocol to protect past presidents.
Our fact-checking sources:
Associated Press, Jan. 22, "National Guard Forces Returning to Capitol Building After Moving to Garage."
YouTube, Diemon Dave, Jan 20, "Troops Return Biden As Motorcade Goes By"
Google Maps, accessed January 24, "Robert A. Taft Memorial and Carillon"
YouTube, Silo 3, Jan 20, "The Military Returns to Joe Biden's Motorcade."
InfoWars, Jan. 20, "Report: National Guard Has Turned Their Backs on Biden Motorcade"
Ines de La Cuetara, January 20, tweet
USA TODAY, Jan 20th, "Live Updates: Biden's Inauguration Day ends with a wave and massive fireworks display."
Associated Press, Jan. 21, "Troops Have Not Turned Their Backs on Biden"
Ines de La Cuetara, January 21, tweet
Snopes, January 21st, "Has the Biden National Guard turned their back on motorcade?"
Reuters, January 21, "Fact check: The National Guard has not turned its back on the Biden motorcade. The video shows the standard protocol."
AFP, Jan. 22, "National Guard forces did not abuse Biden on inauguration day."
PolitiFact, January 22nd, "The National Guard did not brake Biden's first motorcade. It was part of the security protocol."
YouTube, AP Archive, July 30, 2015, "USA: GEORGE W BUSH: INAUGURAL PARADE"
C-SPAN, Jan 20, 2009, "Obama Inaugural Parade Motorcade"
C-SPAN, January 20, 2017, "Trump Inaugural Parade Motorcade"
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This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Fact Check: The National Guard reached out to Biden for protection
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