On Jan. 6, a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and tried to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College results declaring Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. At least four people died from the riot.
But if you talk to some Republican members of Congress, nothing much happened that day at all. And if something did happen, it had nothing to do with Trump.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) has cast doubt on whether the rioters were Trump supporters, despite the fact that many of them were carrying pro-Trump signs and came directly from a “Stop the Steal” rally where Trump encouraged them to march to Congress. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has said he doesn’t think “there was any single reason why people were here,” and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has wondered whether the riot was carried out by “fake Trump supporters.”
Last week during a committee hearing on the Jan. 6 insurrection, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) admitted that he helped his colleagues barricade the door from the mob. But it wasn’t that bad, because “the House floor was never breached.” While there were “some rioters,” he said it was a “bold-faced lie” to call it an insurrection.
“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,” Clyde said. “You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from Jan. 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”
Let’s see if you’re better at this than Clyde is. Below are some pictures. Can you tell if they’re from Jan. 6, or some other day?
Here we are outside the Capitol. Just some people visiting their elected representatives. Was this on Jan. 6 or another random day?
If you guessed Jan. 6, you’re right!
OK, next one. Here are more people gathered outside the Capitol, with law enforcement standing nearby. Was this Jan. 6 or just some other random day?
It was not Jan. 6. It was actually April 14, 2016.
How about this picture?
This is definitely Jan 6. Security lines can sometimes be long to get into the Capitol, but normal tourists do not try to beat police to break in.
Now we’re inside the Capitol ― the famous rotunda, to be specific. Are these people here to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election?
No, they aren’t! They are just a group of tourists visiting the Capitol on March 12, 2020.
Here’s another rotunda picture. What is this chaos? Is this Jan. 6?
Nope! It’s just some other day, with a 4-year-old child taking a break from his tour group.
A lot of people visit the rotunda, so here’s another one. Jan. 6 or a normal day?
This is indeed Jan. 6. On a normal day, tourists are not allowed to stand on top of the statues.
Here we have a man with a Confederate flag. What day is this picture from?
This picture is from Jan. 6, when pro-Trump supporters broke through security and walked around the Capitol freely.
This is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) with a bunch of children wearing Trump gear. Are these tourists here to challenge the election?
Nope! These tourists are following the rules, and Ocasio-Cortez does not appear to be fearing for her life, as she did on Jan. 6. Just a normal day!
OK, here’s the last one. What day?
It is not normal to have this sort of chaos and violence on a normal day. It was definitely from Jan. 6.