Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he is confident law enforcement will be able to protect President-elect Biden at next week’s inauguration. His comments come as security forces are facing scrutiny over rioters’ ability to breach the U.S. Capitol.
Last week, Trump supporters who were seeking to overturn the election stormed the building where lawmakers were affirming the Electoral College vote, causing lawmakers to be evacuated. Five people, including a police officer, died as a result of the violence.
Tall fencing and other barricades have been put up around the Capitol in wake of the destruction and thousands of National Guard troops are guarding the building.
When asked about the inauguration, Hayden said he was “worried,” but added that “our forces are very, very good. So I have a lot of confidence in them.”
Hayden, a retired general, served as the head of the CIA in the Bush and Obama administrations. He was also the director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005.
Before the violence at the Capitol, inauguration officials had already made plans for a smaller event and urged people to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Law enforcement is now anticipating further unrest during or leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
Mr. Biden appeared to have confidence in Capitol security in comments he made to reporters Monday. “I am not afraid of taking the oath outside,” he said. The incoming president has been briefed by the FBI, Secret Service and members of his national security team about inauguration security concerns.
The incoming president’s granddaughter Naomi Biden tweeted that she has the “utmost confidence” in Secret Service to protect her family.
“Every day for 8 years, I witnessed the tireless work of the men and women of @SecretService. They never once let us down. I have the utmost confidence in them and trust in their preparedness,” she wrote.
Every day for 8 years, I witnessed the tireless work of the men and women of @SecretService. They never once let us down. I have the utmost confidence in them and trust in their preparedness.
— Naomi Biden (@NaomiBiden) January 13, 2021
Hayden also expressed concern about the future of the country after President Trump and his supporters sought to invalidate Mr. Biden’s victory.
“I hope we’re OK. I want to be OK. But I’m worried about it. I’m worried about it very much,” Hayden said.
Ex-CIA chief has “a lot of confidence” in security at inauguration The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ CBS News.