lawmakers aren't rushing to condemn former President Donald Trump
's latest attempt to rewrite history
in the aftermath of the violent Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, but when asked about his comments praising individuals involved in the attack
, a few did, albeit cautiously.
“I think what people
saw with their own eyes reflects a different reality,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Monday when asked if such rhetoric could lead to future violence.
Trump described supporters who attended his rally immediately before the Jan. 6 attack as "great people" and claimed there was a "lovefest between the Capitol Police
and the people who walked down to the Capitol" in an interview
with Fox News
over the weekend.
“They are fantastic, and in many cases, fantastic people,” Trump added.
Trump referred to Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by a law enforcement
officer as she attempted to break through a broken door into the Speaker's Lobby, where House
members were huddling in fear, as an "innocent, wonderful, incredible woman." He then falsely claimed that the officer who shot Babbitt was employed by a Democratic
Trump's remarks are part of a larger effort by right-wing figures to portray Babbitt and other Jan. 6 rioters as martyrs who were unfairly treated by Capitol Police, ignoring the fact that approximately 140 police officers were injured during the attack, some of whom were assaulted with Blue Lives Matter flags.
When asked about Trump's Jan. 6 narrative
, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
(R-WVa.) told Stardia, "That makes no sense at all; I dispute his facts
“I think the people who stormed the Capitol and vandalized the Capitol broke the law.... I don’t see any great people doing that, OK?” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Other Republican senators, including Louisiana
's John Kennedy and Iowa
's Chuck Grassley, did not respond.
The Justice Department
recently released body
camera footage of the terrifying violence that police officers faced on the steps of the United States
Capitol, including from Trump supporters
who used large signs as battering rams, and one rioter even beat a police officer with his own baton.
The day after Donald Trump said on Jan. 6 that there was a "lovefest between the Capitol Police and the people who walked down to the Capitol," the feds released two more videos showing the pro-Trump mob attacking Capitol police officers. https://t.co/MFDBZebBmi
pic.twitter.com/GAV6CPZ7hc — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) July 12, 2021