Trump accused of ‘gaslighting’ as he claims Capitol rioters were ‘zero threat’ to police

Trump accused of ‘gaslighting’ as he claims Capitol rioters were ‘zero threat’ to police

Former US president Donald Trump has sparked anger online after he claimed that rioters involved in the storming of the Capitol building in January were a “zero threat” to police officers and guards.

Officer Brian Sicknick was among the five people killed in the insurrection, which reportedly left 140 police officers injured.

The violence was described as the “darkest day” in US history by Joe Biden, then president-elect, with Trump being the first US president to be impeached twice by Congress following the incident.

Speaking on the phone to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Trump said: “It was a zero threat, right from the start. It was zero threat.

“Look, they went in, they shouldn’t have done it. Some of them went in and they were hugging and kissing the police and the guards.

“They had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in, and they walked out.”

While footage has surfaced of police officers posing with rioters and waving them into the Capitol precinct, reports paled in comparison to the destruction caused by Trump supporters and the far-right.

Twitter users have since responded to the clip, claiming Trump is a “clear and present danger” and “gaslighting” viewers:

Others pointed out the images and videos captured from the January event, showing a clear display of violence in contrast to Trump’s “hugging and kissing” claims:

More than 370 people have reportedly been charged in connection with the attack on the US Capitol – none of them with the offence of “hugging and kissing”.

The Conversation (0)