Trump: Rioters in deadly insurrection posed ‘zero threat’



Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed Thursday that his supporters who stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection posed “zero threat” — despite the fact that five people died as a result of the violent insurrection, including a Capitol Police officer.

“It was zero threat. Right from the start, it was zero threat,” Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “Look, they went in — they shouldn’t have done it — some of them went in, and they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know? They had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in, and they walked out.”

The former president’s remarks represent perhaps his most serious distortion yet of the events of Jan. 6, when a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in an effort to halt the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

Trump himself urged his supporters to march on the Capitol in a fiery speech outside the White House prior to the siege. “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said, among other incendiary statements. One week later, the House impeached him for a second time for inciting the insurrection.

Trump was acquitted by the Senate, but his trial in the chamber presented previously unseen video showing just how close the rioters came to lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence. House impeachment managers also showed shocking footage of violence by the rioters against responding law enforcement officers.

Earlier Thursday, seven House committees launched a sweeping investigation into the federal government’s handling of the insurrection, which law enforcement officials have testified was exacerbated by the Pentagon delaying the deployment of National Guard troops and federal intelligence authorities providing insufficient warnings of the attack.

Prosecutors have arrested more than 300 participants in the Capitol attack, and the former leader of the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation said in an interview Sunday that he believes evidence would support a charge of “seditious conspiracy” against some of the rioters. The head of the Capitol Police officers’ union has indicated that roughly 140 officers were injured in the insurrection.

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