“These were peaceful people, these were great people,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo.
Recalling the events of Jan. 6, Trump claimed “there was love in the air” at his rally earlier that day at the White House, and falsely said there was a “lovefest between the Capitol Police and the people that walked down to the Capitol.”
“They are military people, and police officers and construction workers,” he added. “They are tremendous. In many cases, tremendous people.”
The Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol was a shocking and horrifying event, as captured by countless testimonials from lawmakers who fled the scene and Capitol Police officers who faced off with the insurrectionists in hand-to-hand combat. Trump supporters assaulted Capitol Police officers and hurled racist insults at them as they forced their way into the building.
Approximately 140 police officers were injured during the attack. Dozens of people have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.
“Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. They fought us, they had Confederate flags in the U.S. Capitol,” Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn later recalled in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Body camera footage recently released by the Justice Department shows the terrifying carnage facing police officers on the steps of the U.S. Capitol:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection, called on his party to speak out following Trump’s comments on Sunday. He also alluded to a phone call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that took place during the attack.
“Would be good the hear @GOPLeader McCarthy confirm that the former guy said this very thing as it happened,” Kinzinger tweeted Sunday evening. “My fellow Republicans, SPEAK OUT NOW. History remembers.”