RFK Jr. Campaign Laments Plight Of Jan. 6 ‘Activists,’ Before Calling Remarks An ‘Error’

“It was inserted by a new marketing contractor and slipped through the normal approval process," his campaign said.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sent out a campaign email Thursday that described defendants charged after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection as “activists … stripped of their Constitutional liberties,” before abruptly retracting the comments and disavowing those who stormed the halls of Congress.

The fundraising appeal, sent by “Team Kennedy,” compared the plight of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Edward Snowden to those involved in the Capitol attack. The email came as a British court is considering if Assange should be extradited to the United States.

“This is the reality that every American Citizen faces — from Ed Snowden, to Julian Assange to the J6 activists sitting in a Washington DC jail cell stripped of their Constitutional liberties,” the email read. “Please help our campaign call out the illiberal actions of our very own government.”

Just hours later, a Kennedy spokesperson said the language used in the message was an “error” and blamed a new contractor.

“That statement was an error that does not reflect Mr. Kennedy’s views,” the spokesperson, Stephanie Spear, told media outlets. “It was inserted by a new marketing contractor and slipped through the normal approval process.”

Spear added later that Kennedy believed “anybody who violated the law on Jan. 6 should be subject to appropriate criminal and/or civil penalties.” She said the campaign had ended its contract with the company that sent the message.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sent out a campaign email Thursday that described defendants charged after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection as “activists … stripped of their Constitutional liberties,” before abruptly retracting the comments and disavowing those who stormed the halls of Congress.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sent out a campaign email Thursday that described defendants charged after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection as “activists … stripped of their Constitutional liberties,” before abruptly retracting the comments and disavowing those who stormed the halls of Congress.
Jose Luis Magana via Associated Press

NBC News notes 29 defendants are currently being held in jail for their roles on Jan. 6. Most have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing. More than 1,350 people have been charged in connection with the insurrection.

The initial email hewed closely to former President Donald Trump’s own remarks about those involved in Jan. 6. He has repeatedly assailed prosecutorial efforts against them, calling those charged “patriots” and vowing to pardon many involved in the insurrection.

The Kennedy email came just days after the independent candidate sparked fierce criticism for describing President Joe Biden as a greater threat to democracy than Trump, who has been indicted for his role in the insurrection. Kennedy claimed Biden had eroded political speech, pointing to his removal from Instagram in 2021 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic for his vehemently anti-vaccination views.

He went on to describe Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election as “appalling,” adding: “Trying to overthrow the election clearly is a threat to democracy.”

Kennedy has pledged to pardon both Assange and Snowden if he’s elected president, adding he intends to leverage his presidential powers “very quickly in office.” He told The Washington Post last year that he would also consider pardons for those convicted for their actions on Jan. 6, but only if “prosecutorial malfeasance is demonstrated.”

“Otherwise, no,” he added.

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