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Republican Lawmakers Claim January 6 Rioters Were Just Friendly Guys and Gals Taking a Tourist Trip Through the Capitol

They were just history buffs checking out one of D.C.’s greatest landmarks, you see. 

Hey, remember that January 6 attack on the Capitol? Was incited by Donald Trump, who sicced his supporters on the building in the hopes that they would overturn the 2020 election? Involved rioters savagely beating officers and chanting “hang Mike Pence”? Left multiple people dead, more than 100 injured, and caused depression and PTSD among law enforcement who were there, to say nothing of the ones who later committed suicide? Republican lawmakers claim to remember it but their memories appear to have taken a stop at Delusionville on the way to What the Actual Fuck Are You Talking About Town.

During a Wednesday hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, many GOP lawmakers proudly rewrote history as part of the party’s official policy of blatantly lying about easily fact-checkable matters, especially ones that could make Trump look bad. Rep. Paul Gosar—a 2020 election truther whose own family members endorsed his opponent and appeared in an ad begging people not to vote for him—called the individuals who violently broke into the Capitol “peaceful patriots” and claimed that the Department of Justice is “harassing“ them. Amazingly, Gosar, who has described Joe Biden as an “illegitimate usurper,” claimed that “outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding U.S. citizens, especially Trump voters.” He also described the killing of Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter who was shot by the Capitol Police while trying to break through the chamber as an “execut[ion].”

Then there was Rep. Ralph Norman who, like colleagues before him, cast doubt on the fact that the crowd that attacked the building was actually made up of Trump supporters, despite the fact that Trump had invited his supporters to D.C. for his “Stop the Steal” rally and then literally told them to march to the Capitol. (Also, there’s the minor matter of the fact that many people said they were acting on Trump’s orders.)

The most absurd statement, however, came from Rep. Andrew Clyde who said, out loud, in public: “Let me be clear, there was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”

Yes, just a normal tourist visit if normal tourist visits involve zip tie-toting tourists dragging officers down steps; shocking them with stun guns; smashing their heads with baseball bats, pipes, and flag poles; and causing concussions and at least one heart attack. Usually those sorts of tourists would be asked to leave the premises immediately by security, but apparently they’re alright in the f–ked-up alternative universe Clyde lives in. 

Anyway, you might ask how people like Clyde sleep at night but the answer is obviously like an absolute baby—and not the kind that only lets his parents get two hours of shut-eye at a time, the kind that’s been sleep-trained and is out like a light from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.!

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