WORDS: 1,693 — Trumpian Republicans don’t enjoy reading ‘fact check” sources, and when they do it’s just an exercise in defensive anti-Trump distraction for them. Ignore the facts to save their leader. Another world is created. But one seldom, if ever, sees Conservative-based fact checking. Why is that, do you think? Today is Jan 6th, one year later. It’s good to review, and reflect… and consider how YOU will use your vote to save our Republic.
This post will essentially be my summarization of a recent CNN article that fact checks the “Five enduring lies about the Capitol insurrection” . Absolutely, I follow CNN as one of my own trusted cable news sources. To the Right, Trumpians consider CNN one of the more greater purveyors of lies and conspiracists to obscure the truth…. about anything Trump or Trump devotees. But rest assured, I do not accept blanketly everything they report, nor do I accept all the talking head analysis as being sound. It’s like visiting your doctor… you generally accept he’s knowledgeable to do the job because he has a good rep for being accurate in his diagnosis and treatment, and good bedside manner. Yet when he says you have a medical condition you simply don’t just accept it, and a new med prescription. You don’t walk into a doctor’s office and simply declare… “Cure me, Doc.. give it your best shot.” You ask questions that matter to you, not only regarding the diagnosis, but also his treatment and possible reactions from medications. If not satisfied, you get a second opinion. Let’s keep in mind something before we start here. CNN is far from being gospel news reporting. In fact, like most news networks these days, they mix news with talking head opinion which is far from objective (not intended to be), almost as quick as the news is presented. It’s left up to the viewer to determine the takeaway value of the news. In other words, critically think what makes sense to you. There is no free ride, one-stop news source that gets-it-right-every-time.
Ok.. that’s out of the way. Let’s get to the meat of this post… and the Fact Check by CNN’s Daniel Dale and Marshall Cohen. There are five lies…
Lie #1: The rioters were completely unarmed
Lie #2: The rioters were merely protesting a ‘rigged’ election
Lie #3: The rioters were invited to the Capitol by police
Lie #4: The jailed rioters are nonviolent political prisoners
Lie #5: January 6 was a false flag attack
Lie #1: The rioters were completely unarmed
Trump and some of his allies continue to claim that all of the people at the Capitol on January 6 were unarmed. In a December 21 statement, Trump called January 6 a “completely unarmed protest.” Similarly, in a tweet on December 17, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wrote, “One of the biggest holes in the lie about J6 being a planned insurrection is that all the people there were unarmed. Anyone with half a brain knows that gun owners only leave their firearms at home when they don’t feel the need to carry a gun or are obeying the law.”
Facts First: It’s not even close to true that all of the people at the Capitol on January 6 were unarmed — and the claim is still false even if it is specifically about guns. People who illegally entered Capitol grounds during the insurrection were armed with a wide variety of weapons, including guns, stun guns, knives, batons, baseball bats, axes and chemical sprays. The Department of Justice said in an official update last week that so far “over 75” people charged in connection to the attack “have been charged with entering a restricted area with a dangerous or deadly weapon.”
[There is greater detail explanation of facts, including examples of some charged with having weapons, should you go read the entire article HERE.]
Lie #2: The rioters were merely protesting a ‘rigged’ electionTrump called on his supporters to come to Washington on January 6 for a “wild” protest against President Joe Biden’s victory, which Trump falsely claimed was fraudulent. During his rally speech on the morning of January 6, Trump pushed that election lie, directed supporters to march to the Capitol and urged them to “fight like hell.” After the insurrection, Trump continued to repeat the election lie for months — and adapted it to minimize what had happened at the Capitol. In an October statement, he claimed that the “real insurrection” was the 2020 election and January 6 was simply a “day of protesting.” (He also made similar claims later in the year.)Facts First: Both parts of Trump’s claim are obvious lies. The election wasn’t rigged and wasn’t fraudulent; Biden won fair and square; there was a tiny smattering of voter fraud that was nowhere near widespread enough to have changed the outcome in any state, let alone to have reversed Biden’s 306-232 victory in the Electoral College. And the insurrection of January 6 — in which approximately 140 police officers were assaulted and the peaceful transfer of power was violently interrupted — involved thousands of alleged crimes; it was, very clearly, no mere protest.[Again, there’s additional detail to support these facts HERE.]
Lie #3: The rioters were invited into the Capitol by policeA common refrain from January 6 rioters, and some of their Republican defenders, is that they were welcomed into the Capitol by police officers. Trump said in a book interview in March that “the Capitol Police were ushering people in” and “the Capitol Police were very friendly. You know, they were hugging and kissing.” The claim has been echoed by Trump supporters. For example, Trump-endorsed Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake declared at a Trump rally in October that the people being held in jail over the Capitol attack “were invited in by Capitol Police.”Facts First: The claim that the rioters were invited into the Capitol is false. Again, about 140 police officers were assaulted while trying to stop the mob from breaching the Capitol. There were hours-long battles between police and rioters near some entrances. CNN obtained footage from police body-worn cameras showing how dozens of officers engaged in hand-to-hand combat with rioters in a desperate effort to keep them out of the building.[There’s lots more detail on this lie to read HERE.]
Lie #4: The jailed rioters are nonviolent political prisonersOne of the most prevalent counter-narratives about January 6 is that a large number of nonviolent people who were present at the Capitol are being unfairly prosecuted by liberal zealots at the Justice Department, and that these nonviolent people have now become “political prisoners” while awaiting trial in jail. Such claims have emerged as a rallying cry among a small but vocal cohort of Trump loyalists in the House Republican conference.Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar claimed in July that jailed rioters who had supposedly spent time in solitary confinement “are not unruly or dangerous, violent criminals” but are “political prisoners who are now being persecuted”; he suggested that there are “nearly 200” nonviolent Capitol participants behind bars. And the pro-Trump group behind September’s “Justice for J6” rally said its event was meant “to bring awareness and attention to the unjust and unethical treatment of nonviolent January 6 political prisoners.”Facts First: This “political prisoners” narrative is false. The vast majority of the 700-plus people charged in the Capitol riot to date were released shortly after their arrests. Only a few dozen were ordered by judges to remain in jail before trial, and most of those defendants were charged with attacking police or conspiring with far-right militia groups.[Jail conditions? Federal judge ruling? More detail HERE.]
Lie #5: January 6 was a false flag attackBefore the Capitol was even cleared of rioters on January 6, some prominent Trump supporters started to try to deflect blame — claiming that left-wing Antifa, a loose collection of self-described anti-fascists, was actually behind the violence.Such “false flag” theories — that the violence was secretly orchestrated by Trump’s opponents in an attempt to make Trump look bad — never went away. And the theories have expanded to include claims that the violence was orchestrated by the Black Lives Matter movement or even by an arm of the federal government itself, the FBI.Fox News host Tucker Carlson has promoted false flag theories, focusing on the FBI, both in his own remarks and in his revisionist documentary series on a Fox streaming service in November. Carlson has claimed on his show that government documents showed that “FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol on January 6.” Former Army Capt. Emily Rainey said in the documentary (and in a trailer Carlson tweeted out): “It is my opinion that false flags have happened in this country, one of which may have been January 6.”And Trump himself has given oxygen to the theories, claiming in a December interview with ring-wing commentator Candace Owens, “You have BLM and you had Antifa people, I have very little doubt about that, and they were antagonizing and they were agitating.Facts First: The insurrection at the Capitol was not a false flag. Just as it looked on January 6, a mob of diehard Trump supporters stormed the building. They did so after Trump urged supporters to come to Washington and then, as we noted above, made a speech urging them to “fight like hell” and to march to the Capitol. The rioters’ allegiance to Trump has been exhaustively documented in court proceedings and in their social media posts and media interviews.[No false flags to see here. More detail HERE.]