Head of DC National Guard discusses inauguration security

Major General William Walker, the Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard, discusses the current threat level in the nation’s capital and how troops are preparing for Wednesday.
3:33 | 01/18/21

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Transcript for Head of DC National Guard discusses inauguration security
George. Martha, thanks. Let's bring in major general William walker, thank you for joining us this morning. Can you start out by saying the current threat level is, do you have what you need to place to counter it? Good morning, sir. If I can first say, happy holiday to martin Luther king. Please allow me to say how proud I am of the almost 25,000 national guardsmen who have come in from all 50 states and territories to help support the secret service and the police departments, with a peaceful transition of military power. Good morning, sir. Thank you for that, sir. So the question was, do I have enough? Yes, I believe do. Tell us what the role of the National Guard is going to be, are they trained for policing activities? What can they do? What can't they do? What are they trained for? We're trained for civil disturbance. We practice it yearly. We rehears it when we get here. So we are the backup, layer of protection for the secret service the capitol police, the metropolitan police department and the United States parks police. We're part of the layered defense to ensure that the bubble, the bubble that will be around the vice President-Elect and the President-Elect, so that we can have a peaceful transfer of power. We do this every four years. Not with these kind of numbers. Not with these kind of numbers. I will tell you, we've had close to 10,000 in the past. Tell me, the secretary of the army said the guard deployed to the capitol will be screened for possible insider threats, can that be done this quickly? We have the technology. We do that every four years as well. What happens is, they're screened before they leave their state and what it is, is a credentialing process. They're screened and repeatedly screened until they are actually put on the street. What does that entail? Are they asked if they believe this was a legitimate election, questions like that. No, it's all about their backgrounds. A regular background check is enhanced with more screening, more details, and it's layered. The FBI is part of it. The secret service is part of it and once they are certain that there's no insider threat, then that soldier, guardsman or airman is given a credential. What does it say to you about the situation we're facing today that soldiers have to be screened for an insider threat? Well, we already screened -- to join the United States military, you go through a series of background checks, so every guardsman, every military person is screened to make sure that we know our soldiers and airmen. So it's just another layer and then a layer on top of that, just to be absolutely certain. But everyone joining the military is screened in and for an event like this, you're scene out. You confident you have the situation in hand? I am, sir. Major, thanks for your time this morning, robin.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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