Donald Trump Is Now Just Bald-Faced Lying About What Happened On Jan. 6
Despite the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol being one of the most well-documented and studied political events in recent years, former President Donald Trump is still trying to rewrite history about that day.
While speaking to the news media Thursday outside his Mar-a-Lago club and residence in Florida, the likely Republican presidential nominee rattled off an impressive number of lies about the deadly riot by Trump supporters in a matter of minutes.
One of the most easily disproved bits of fiction he threw out is that “there were no guns” among the rioters. In reality, multiple people who stormed the Capitol were carrying firearms. Rioters have admitted to this in court and been given heavy prison sentences.
This is a lie Trump has peddled before, going so far as to call the riot “completely unarmed” despite attackers carrying guns, knives, baseball bats and chemical weapons that day.
Trump used that falsehood Thursday to denounce Capitol police officers for taking action against the mob.
“So unnecessary, so sad, so horrible,” he said of the officers who were protecting lawmakers as they met to officially certify the 2020 Electoral College count two weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Trump didn’t stop there. He also claimed that it was “very shortly after” the riot that he sent out a recording of a speech from the White House Rose Garden intended to stop the violence. In reality, it was more than two hours after the rioters breached the Capitol building before Trump released his remarks telling his followers that they had “to go home now,” adding “We love you. You’re very special.”
According to findings from the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6 riot and the plots to overturn the 2020 election, Trump spent those hours watching the violence unfold on TV and ignoring pleas from fellow Republicans and his daughter Ivanka to intervene.
In one of his more head-scratching claims Thursday, Trump tried to lay the blame on one of the rioters’ top targets.
“I think it was an insurrection caused by Nancy Pelosi,” Trump declared before qualifying it with: “if it was an insurrection.”
This is obviously false. Then-House Speaker Pelosi (R-Calif.) did not incite hundreds of Trump’s supporters to storm her place of work, break into her office and threaten her life. Footage from that day shows a rioter walking through the halls of Congress yelling, “Nancy Pelosi! Where you at, Nancy? Nancy! Where are you, Nancy? We’re looking for you!”
While rioters were battling police officers to break into the Capitol, security personnel were removing Pelosi from the House chamber and taking her to a secure location for her safety. While in hiding, she played a key role in communicating with other top government officials about securing her colleagues’ safety.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Trump also cherry-picked lines from his speech leading up to the riot in an effort to prove he didn’t call for violence.
“I said peacefully and patriotically. The speech was called peacefully and patriotically. It’s peacefully and patriotically,” Trump reiterated multiple times.
He did use that phrase once in his Jan. 6 speech, telling his supporters: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
But most of Trump’s speech that day struck a different tone.
“We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he told his supporters as he wrapped up his remarks.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong,” he also said.
Trump’s remarks Thursday came on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over a Colorado court’s decision to declare Trump ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot because he’d incited an insurrection. The decision cited a clause of the 14th Amendment that says anyone who took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution but then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the country may not hold state or federal office.