It’s kind of a low bar, but Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) remains evidently committed to the truth around the 2021 Capitol riot and what led up to it, particularly the lies about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election so vociferously spread by Trump and key allies of his.
A lack of that kind of commitment to basic reality makes simple tasks of legislating, of course, rather difficult. Romney spoke on camera to CNN’s Manu Raju this week about those who would deny the substance of what took place at the Capitol, a group including Trump himself.
“There’s no question that January 6 was a riot, an insurrection attempt, an effort to overturn the process designed in the Constitution to allow the voice of the people to be carried out in who we have as our elected representatives,” Romney said. “It was an outrageous act. A lot of people were injured. Our building was severely damaged. Efforts to try and pretend it was something other than that are despicable and frankly dangerous, because it makes it more likely that people will think things like this are acceptable, and they might try and do them in the future. It’s awful what some people are willing to do to get some eyeballs or get a little extra money.”
Romney’s reference to viewership would, of course, seem to connect what he was saying in rather direct terms to Tucker Carlson of Fox News, who’s lately been a main driver of the false narrative the Senator was refuting. On his show this week, Carlson has attempted to insist that the riot wasn’t that bad, using selected pieces of footage from the Capitol complex that day that don’t show active physical violence, but his case has no substance. Tucker spotlighted one guy, rioter Jacob Chansley, who could be seen in the Capitol without engaging in immediately apparent violence… but violence wasn’t included in the allegations to which Chansley admitted before his currently unfolding sentence. It was an obstruction charge, meaning there’s no substance for Carlson to dispute here!
Trump, though, was eager and has repeatedly called yet again for all those detained in connection to the riot to be released, making what is apparently no distinction between the individuals accused of violence and those, well, not. He also won’t even call what happened a riot. He’s instead described what took place as “the January 6th events.” Carlson himself characterized some of the already documented violence as just vandalism. Do you think he’d be so dismissive of attacks on police and threats to Congress if the rioters were liberals?