Sure, the assault on the Capitol was unhealthy, however did you hear concerning the assault on the White House final yr?
The supposed siege of the president’s residence is the newest Republican deflection from the occasions of Jan. 6, when a pro-Donald Trump mob stirred up by Republican lies about voter fraud ransacked the U.S. Capitol.
Some Republicans, equivalent to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have admitted what truly occurred.
“They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the vice president,” McConnell stated in February. “They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth ― because he was angry he’d lost an election.”
But others are compiling a rising listing of distractions, excuses and alternate theories of what occurred that day, hoping that as time passes, the general public forgets what truly went on. Here are a few of the methods Republicans try to deflect blame:
The Rioters Were Just A Group Of Random People, Not United By Anything
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) stated this week that the truth that “these extremist groups are not monolithic” ran counter to the Democratic “narrative” about what occurred on the Capitol.
“I’ve heard some of these folks described as white supremacists, domestic terrorists, insurrectionist, rioters, seditionist, anarchist, the list goes on and on,” Cornyn stated at a Tuesday listening to with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Cornyn was upset that Democrats “wanted to create a narrative about white supremacists, but clearly that is part of the problem but it’s not a monolithic group,” he instructed HuffPost after the listening to. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) had stated the rioters “might as well have” been carrying Ku Klux Klan robes.
“I don’t think there was any single reason why people were here,” Cornyn stated.
Wray testified that many had militia ties and a few have been white supremacists, however there’s little doubt they have been all Trump supporters attempting to overthrow the election. Indeed, that they had simply marched from a “Stop the Steal” rally that includes Trump, who instructed them to go to the Capitol and cease lawmakers from certifying Joe Biden because the winner of the presidential election.
“They were here for a variety of reasons,” Cornyn insisted.
Nancy Pelosi Is To Blame
An more and more frequent theme is blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“I think Nancy Pelosi will have a lot of questions to answer about what she knew leading up to the riot on Jan. 6,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) stated on Fox News final month.
Four GOP House members additionally wrote Pelosi a letter, claiming that “many important questions about your responsibility for the security of the Capitol remain unanswered.” And Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) stated Pelosi was utilizing the riot as an excuse to consolidate her energy.
The argument is that Pelosi needed all this to occur ― or, on the very least, she appeared the opposite means on the potential for violence. In different phrases, Republicans suppose she didn’t take significantly a mob of pro-Trump supporters who despised her and, in no less than one case, wanted her dead.
The GOP has continued to push the speculation that Pelosi stood in the best way of police requests for extra help, regardless that then-House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving has repeatedly shot down that suggestion.
It Was Antifa
The likes of Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) wasted no time blaming the supposedly fearsome anti-fascist group often called “antifa” for the assault, primarily based on a false story that was nearly instantly retracted.
But this outrageously unfaithful declare won’t die. Trump’s legal professionals even uttered it on the Senate flooring throughout his impeachment trial, once they claimed “a leader of antifa” had been arrested for infiltrating the constructing.
It could appear ridiculous, however a big variety of Republican voters imagine the Capitol assault was an antifa operation, in response to a number of polls. A majority of Republicans stated in a January survey they believed it was antifa, as did 58% of Trump voters in a February survey.
It Was Fake Trump Supporters
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) claimed throughout a Senate listening to final week that the gang marching towards the Capitol at Trump’s course was a peaceful bunch, and that the riot had been carried out by “provocateurs” and “fake Trump supporters.”
“Many of the marchers were families with small children; many were elderly, overweight, or just plain tired or frail — traits not typically attributed to the riot-prone,” Johnson stated, studying from a delusional piece published in The Federalist, a far-right web site. “A very few didn’t share the jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor of the great majority. Some obviously didn’t fit in.”
The FBI director testified this week that there isn’t a proof of antifa involvement within the assault, and no proof that there have been pretend Trump supporters. Some of the pro-Trump rioters charged within the assault have even complained about antifa getting credit score.
HuffPost requested Johnson on Thursday whether or not he himself believed the statements he learn aloud in the course of the listening to, since they’d been written by another person.
“He witnessed it. He wrote down what he witnessed,” Johnson stated. “We need to assemble a bunch of eyewitness accounts to determine what all happened from different perspectives, different vantage points.”
HuffPost reporters witnessed the assault on the Capitol from each the within and outdoors and noticed solely Trump supporters.
“They ― they might have been Trump provocateurs, OK?” Johnson stated.
The Mob Wasn’t Even That Dangerous
Five individuals died within the Jan. 6 riot, together with one police officer. Another 140 officers have been injured, struggling cracked ribs, concussions, lack of a part of a finger, burns and a gentle coronary heart assault. Two officers concerned within the response that day later died from suicide. The pro-Trump mob smashed officers with flagpoles, pipes, bats, metallic boundaries and doorways in an effort to push previous them and break into the Capitol.
Yet in response to some Republicans, this crowd wasn’t harmful in any respect.
“If it was armed, it would have been a bloodbath,” stated Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who stated Democrats have been attempting to make it seem to be “there’s a bunch of people running around in the woods with Army fatigues on the weekends, and they’re going to take over the country, and that’s just nonsense.”
“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” Johnson stated in a radio interview final month.
“I mean ‘armed,’ when you hear ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask. How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I’m only aware of one and I’ll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot. It was a tragedy, OK? But I think there was only one,” he added.
Authorities truly confiscated a variety of weapons from that day, together with an assault rifle, a crossbow, Molotov cocktails, stun weapons, knives and brass knuckles. Since they weren’t looking out attendees for weapons, there doubtless have been way more.
Black Lives Matter Attacked The White House First
Many Republicans who condemned the violence on the Capitol broadened their condemnation to incorporate violence towards law enforcement officials in 2020.
But Republicans have begun to counsel a extra direct false equivalence, decrying an “attack on the White House” by Black Lives Matters protesters final summer season.
“Sixty-seven Secret Service officers were injured during a three-day siege on the White House, which caused then-President Trump to be brought into a secure bunker,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) stated Tuesday.
At a separate listening to on Wednesday, Hawley additionally introduced up “the attack on the White House where 60 Secret Service officers were injured, the president had to be evacuated into a bunker.”
Most individuals might keep in mind the “siege on the White House” as a protest towards police brutality close to the White House. (Officers wound up tear-gassing protesters so the president may pose for photographs holding a Bible in entrance of a church that had been broken.)
The Secret Service stated greater than 60 officers have been injured as protesters threw objects and scuffled with officers, 11 of whom obtained hospital remedy for non-life-threatening accidents.
But they weren’t attempting to storm the White House.
“No individuals crossed the White House Fence and no Secret Service protectees were ever in any danger,” the Secret Service said in May.
Trump subsequently stated he was solely “inspecting” the bunker.
‘Everybody’ Is Responsible
In January, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) stated Trump “bears responsibility” for the assault. Per week later, nonetheless, he stated he didn’t truly imagine Trump had “provoked” the mob of his supporters.
And in an interview that aired a day later, McCarthy discovered a strategy to each blame Trump for the riot whereas not likely blaming him in any respect.
“I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility,” he stated.
McCarthy later tried to make clear his remarks, insisting he wasn’t essentially saying everybody within the nation was accountable for Trump’s supporters attacking the Capitol, however fairly that “it is incumbent upon every person in America to help lower the temperature of our political discourse.”
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