'Unbelievably dangerous': Top Democrat slams Gov. Noem for using the National Guard as a 'private militia'

'Unbelievably dangerous': Top Democrat slams Gov. Noem for using the National Guard as a 'private militia'
Kristi Noem // CBS

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is blasting South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem for fulfilling the request of a wealthy GOP donor who asked her to deploy the National Guard to Texas to patrol the border, and for accepting his private donation to pay for it.

Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) calls Noem's decision "incredibly dangerous," and warned he will pressure Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to ensure the National Guard is not treated like a "private militia" and "to make it stop," Politico reports.

"This is unbelievably dangerous to think that rich people can start using the U.S. military to advance their objectives, independent of what the commander in chief and the secretary of defense think they ought to be doing," Smith said Wednesday on "Meet the Press."

On Tuesday many had expressed outrage that Noem had turned the National Guard into "a mercenary force."

Noem, widely seen as a 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, currently has the third-highest rate of coronavirus cases and the tenth-highest rate of coronavirus deaths per capita.

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