Trump calls Jan 6 rioters ‘warriors’ at Nevada rally

‘All they were doing is protesting a rigged election,’ the former president falsely claims

Martha McHardy
Monday 10 June 2024 13:01
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9, 2024
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump has defended his supporters involved in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, calling them “warriors” at a Nevada rally.

“Those J6 warriors – they were warriors – but they were really, more than anything else, they’re victims of what happened,” Trump said at the rally, speaking to a crowd of several thousand supporters.

“All they were doing is protesting a rigged election. That’s what they were doing,” Trump continued, repeating his false claim that he should have won the 2020 presidential election.

He also baselessly claimed that police welcomed rioters into the Capitol on January 6, telling rioters to “Go in, go in, go in, go in.”

“What a horrible, horrible thing, and you know, that blows two ways, that blows two ways, believe me,” Trump falsely claimed.

Meanwhile, Trump also suggested a possible counter-investigation into the events of January 6 if he were re-elected, after the United States House Select Committee created to investigate the riots referred Trump to the US Department of Justice for possible prosecution.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives onstage to speak during a campaign rally at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9, 2024
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives onstage to speak during a campaign rally at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

More than 1,265 defendants have been prosecuted for their role in the Jan 6th Capitol riot, with more than 460 cases resulting in custodial sentences.

Altogether, department prosecutors have secured more than 718 guilty pleas - including 213 who pleaded to felonies that include assaults on federal officers, obstructing law enforcement and seditious conspiracy.

But despite the prosecutions, Trump has repeatedly called people imprisoned for their roles in the Capitol attack “hostages” and suggested he may pardon them.

He and his supporters have also at times sought to recharacterise the Jan 6 riots as peaceful.

In reality, however, about 140 officers were injured, and five died in the days after the attack. One Capitol Police officer even likened the scene to a “war zone,” telling a congressional committee that she was slipping in other people’s blood as she engaged in “hand-to-hand combat” for hours.

Trump made the remarks in Nevada on Sunday at his first large-scale rally since he was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald is one of six Republicans who have been accused of submitting certificates to Congress falsely declaring Trump the winner of Nevada’s 2020 presidential election. His trial has been postponed to next year.

Trump is facing two criminal cases related to his alleged attempts to overturn the result of the 2020 election. Trump denies all charges against him.

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