Far-right US lawmaker says she would have armed Jan. 6 Capitol riot
Dec 13, 2022 - 03:00 AM
WASHINGTON (AA) – Far-right Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene said over the weekend that if she had organized the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, “it would’ve been armed,” and would have accomplished its goals.
“I got to tell you something, if (onetime advisor to then-President Donald Trump) Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed,” she said during the New York Young Republican Club Gala on Saturday night.
The riot sought to derail the US Congress’ formal ratification of Joe Biden’s election as president, in line with his nationwide win the previous November.
“That’s the whole joke, isn’t it?” said Greene, who has embraced baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election. “They say the whole thing was planned, and I’m like, are you kidding me? A bunch of conservatives, Second Amendment (gun rights) supporters went in the Capitol without guns and they think we organized that? I don’t think so.”
Various extremist groups and politicians have also pushed the debunked conspiracy theory that left-wing groups were responsible for the riot, despite a total lack of evidence.
Greene’s remarks about the violent attack on the Capitol were captured by Patriot Takes, a far-right monitor, and posted on Twitter.
Among those in attendance for Saturday’s New York City Republican gathering were Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist who is now facing prison time after being convicted of contempt of Congress, Donald Trump Jr., and alt-right provocateur Jack Posobiec.
Greene has long backed Trump and his claims of widespread election fraud, which have been repeatedly dismissed in court and even rejected by his final attorney general, William Barr. In the two years since Trump began to espouse the claims, he has not put forward any evidence with which to substantiate them.
Those allegations motivated droves of Trump’s supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in an attempt to prevent lawmakers from carrying out their constitutionally mandated duty of certifying election results.
Five people died as a result of the violence that day, which left the Capitol badly damaged. Four law enforcement officers died by suicide in the aftermath.
The attack marked the first time the US federal legislature had been occupied since British forces torched it during the War of 1812.
Remarks a ‘slap in the face to Capitol Police,’ suffering families
The White House sharply rebuked the lawmaker, saying her “violent rhetoric is a slap in the face to the Capitol Police, the DC Metropolitan Police, the National Guard, and the families who lost loved ones as a result of the attack on the Capitol.”
“It goes against our fundamental values as a country for a Member of Congress to wish that the carnage of January 6th had been even worse, and to boast that she would have succeeded in an armed insurrection against the United States government,” spokesperson Andrew Bates said in an emailed statement.
“All leaders have a responsibility to condemn these dangerous, abhorrent remarks and stand up for our Constitution and the rule of law,” he added.
Amid the backlash, Greene sought to downplay her remarks, claiming she was making a “sarcastic joke.”
“The White House needs to learn how sarcasm works. My comments were making fun of Joe Biden and the Democrats, who have continuously made me a political target since January 6th,” she said.
During Trump’s four years as president, when faced with a backlash over controversial remarks, he would often say that the remarks in question had actually been meant as a joke.