Donald Trump seems to fully embrace January 6 rioters: At a rally in Texas Saturday, the former president appeared in front of footage of the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot, as a song performed by January 6 prisoners played.
Donald Trump: What Did He Do Now?
On January 6, 2021, hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump rushed the U.S. Capitol, assaulted police officers, broke windows, and threatened to hang Vice President Mike Pence. This has led to over 1,000 arrests, hundreds of criminal convictions, and serious legal jeopardy for Trump himself.
Trump, who on the day of the riot had called on his supporters to “fight like hell,” has since endorsed Tucker Carlson’s bogus counter-narrative that the riot wasn’t what it appeared to be. And his supporters have alternatively between arguing that January 6 was an “Antifa setup” and that it was actually an awesome act of great American patriots.
The former president, at his Saturday rally in Waco, Tex., opened the rally with January 6 footage behind him on a screen, and followed it with a presentation of “Justice For All,” featuring the J6 Choir, a group of imprisoned January 6 rioters, followed by Trump himself reciting part of the Pledge of Allegiance, in a recording that he made at Mar-a-Lago for the express purpose of being included in the song. A recording of that song had reached #1 on iTunes earlier this month.
In the speech, Trump went on to call the 2024 election the “final battle.”
“Enemies are desperate to stop us,” Trump said in his speech, adding that “our opponents have done everything they can to crush our spirit and to break our will. But they failed. They’ve only made us stronger. And 2024 is the final battle, it’s going to be the big one. You put me back in the White House, their reign will be over and America will be a free nation once again.”
Also at the rally, Trump bashed both his possible future opponent Gov. Ron DeSantis and the prosecutors who are considering charging him, including Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump’s Aides in Trouble over January 6
Speaking of Trump and January 6, the former president was dealt a legal blow late last week, when a court ordered former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and other former Trump aides to testify before the federal grand jury in Washington, the one looking into the former president’s role in January 6 and other efforts to overturn the election.
Longtime Trump aides Dan Scavino and Stephen Miller were also among the former White House aides told they must appear before the grand jury.
Trump had cited executive privilege to try to block the former aides from testifying.
Trump is expected to appeal the order, ABC News said.
Ray Epps Strikes Back
And in another January 6 story, a supporter of the former president who has become the key figure in various conspiracy theories has demanded a retraction from Fox News host Carlson.
According to UPI, Ray Epps has sent a cease and desist letter to Carlson, who has involved Epps in his alternative-universe version of what happened on January 6. The conspiracy theory goes that Epps was some informant or agent provocateur that day.
Politifact has called Carlson’s claims about Epps untrue.
“For years, Tucker Carlson and Fox News have targeted Ray Epps with malicious lies about his involvement in the events of January 6th. Fox News has chosen to promote fantasy over fact, exposing Ray and Robyn Epps to harassment, intimidation, and abuse,” the letter from Epps’ attorneys said.
“It is clear that Mr. Carlson and Fox News are uninterested in speaking the truth to their viewers. A truth-teller does not create and amplify wild conspiracy theories. A truth-teller does not willfully close their eyes to the evidence that disproves their assertions. And a truth-teller certainly does not feel the need to selectively edit videos to portray events differently than how they actually occurred.”
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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.