EXCLUSIVE: National Guard Furious with Evers Over Rittenhouse Deployment

High-ranking members of the Wisconsin National Guard are furious with Governor Tony Evers over his order activating in advance of a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, "The Dan O'Donnell Show" has exclusively learned.

"Evers originally wanted 1,000 troops mobilized to, in his words, 'crush' any rioting," a source said. "But for the past 18 months, he's stretched the Guard thin by having them do things like giving COVID vaccines to prison inmates and staff polling places."

As a result, the Guard was unable to call up 1,000 soldiers immediately. Instead, Evers on Friday activated 500 troops, and the National Guard will call up an additional 500 if "rioting is not under control within 48 hours." Much of the bitterness over Evers' deployment stems from the widespread belief within the Guard that he is only activating it in large numbers to protect his own political interests.

"He knows that if Kenosha burns again, he won't win re-election next year," said one source. "It's that simple."

Evers faced nationwide criticism last August after he refused Kenosha law enforcement's request of 750 National Guard troops following the first night of rioting after the shooting of Jacob Blake. Both Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes were even accused of inciting rioting by mischaracterizing the Blake shooting.

"Tonight, Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times, in broad daylight, in Kenosha, Wisconsin," Evers tweeted at 10:35 pm the night of the shooting, just as rioters were descending on Kenosha. "While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country. We stand with all those who have and continue to demand justice, equity, and accountability for Black lives in our country."

The following morning, after rioters torched multiple businesses in Downtown Kenosha, Barnes appeared to justify their rage during a news conference.

"This was not an accident. This wasn’t bad police work. This felt like some sort of vendetta being taken out on a member of our community," Barnes said. "The officer’s deadly actions attempted to take a person’s life in broad daylight."

The shooting was later deemed to be completely justified, and the officer involved was neither criminally charged nor disciplined internally over it.

Only after hours of criticism from members of the Kenosha community, legislative Republicans, and the media did Evers authorize the deployment of the National Guard to Kenosha. Rather than the 750 troops that were requested, though, Evers authorized just 125.

Following a second night of rioting, law enforcement reiterated its request for 750 troops, but Evers only deployed 250. The White House offered to send 500 federal troops to Kenosha to help restore order, but Evers denied this request.

During the third night of rioting, Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two men and injured a third. Evers then authorized the Guard to move in in sufficient numbers to quell the rioting.

"This is the guy who wants 1,000 troops now? The same guy who wouldn't let us do our jobs last summer?" a National Guard source fumed. "He's way more worried about himself than the people of Kenosha."

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