Former US President Donald Trump has claimed that his supporters were “hugging and kissing” police officers and posed “zero threat” despite widespread violence, injuries to law enforcement officers and five deaths on January 6 Capitol riots.
Calling into Fox News on Thursday night, Trump was asked if he was concerned about the US Capitol’s beefed up security, including razor-wire fencing, which he derided as “disgraceful” and a “political maneuver.”
“It was zero threat, right from the start, it was zero threat. Look, they went in, they shouldn’t have done it. Some of them went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know, they had great relationships,” Trump told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
“A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in and they walked out.”
Trump appeared to suggest that some of the rioters should face repercussions, but quickly pivoted to attacking the leftist movement Antifa, a familiar target of his that he has often cited to draw a false equivalency in downplaying crimes committed in his name.
Mob of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol intended to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.
Many rioters violently clashed with Capitol police, using various weapons, as they pushed through barriers to breach the Capitol complex.
As the mob entered the Capitol, rioters could be heard chanting death threats against Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several lawmakers, some of whom hid throughout the building while the mob sought them out.
Mr Trump faces at least two lawsuits for stoking the riot.