In the latest sign that it’s a brand-new era at the White House, First Lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit Friday to National Guard troops stationed at the U.S. Capitol and passed out baskets of chocolate chip cookies.
“I wanted to come today to say thank you to all of you for keeping me and my family safe,” the masked first lady told troops mobilized to the site in the wake of Donald Trump supporters’ attack on the Capitol.
“I know that you left your home states,” she added, noting that the Bidens’ late son, Beau Biden, had served in the National Guard, including in Iraq. “I’m a National Guard mom. ... Thank you from President Biden and from the entire Biden family. I truly appreciate all that you do.”
Biden made the visit the day after hundreds of troops were forced to move from buildings on Capitol Hill to a Washington parking garage for their rest breaks. The garage smelled like exhaust and gasoline, had few bathrooms, limited internet service and few electrical outlets, and was crowded and uncomfortable, according to Politico, which first reported the news.
While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) vented on Twitter about the situation, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel, took action. She made some insistent phone calls and the troops were moved out of the garage within hours.
Earlier in the day, the first lady visited Whitman-Walker Health, a nonprofit health center that specializes in LGBTQ and HIV care, in downtown Washington.