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ICYMI – AP: In Trump’s Jan. 6 Recast, Attackers Become Martyrs, Heroes

AP: “…Trump and his acolytes are taking this revisionism to a new and dangerous place.”

As if inspiring a deadly insurrection in the U.S. Capitol wasn’t far enough for the GOP, Republicans are now hoping we won’t notice their efforts to recast the violent mob that attacked our democracy.

From calling the insurrectionists just a “mob of misfits” to saying it was a “normal tourist visit” that – according to Rep. Scott Perry – didn’t threaten lives, House Republicans have shamefully tried over and over to convince the American people to forget the horrifying images of violent rioters overtaking the Capitol and assaulting law enforcement officers.

Unsurprisingly, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer have done absolutely nothing to stop their caucus from embracing Donald Trump’s revisionist history.

In case you missed it:

Associated Press: In Trump’s Jan. 6 recast, attackers become martyrs, heroes

By: Calvin Woodward, Colleen Long & David Klepper

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cocktail of propaganda, conspiracy theory and disinformation — of the kind intoxicating to the masses in the darkest turns of history — is fueling delusion over the agonies of Jan. 6.

Hate is “love.” Violence is “peace.” The pro-Donald Trump attackers are patriots.

Months after the then-president’s supporters stormed the Capitol that winter day, Trump and his acolytes are taking this revisionism to a new and dangerous place — one of martyrs and warlike heroes, and of revenge. It’s a place where cries of “blue lives matter” have transformed into shouts of “f— the blue.”

The fact inversion about the siege is the latest in Trump’s contorted oeuvre of the “big lie” compendium, the most specious of which is that the election was stolen from him, when it was not.

It is rooted in the formula of potent propaganda through the ages: Say it loud, say it often, say it with the heft of political power behind you, and people will believe. Once spread by pamphlets, posters and word of mouth, now spread by swipe of finger, the result is the same: a passionate, unquestioning following.

Four years ago, Trump appeared to equate white supremacists and racial justice protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his comment that there were “very fine people, on both sides.”

This time, in this telling, the very fine people on Jan. 6 were on one side: his.

For the other side — the police, overwhelmed for hours and bloodied in the insurrection — Trump only has an in-your-face question that doubles as a four-word conspiracy theory: “Who killed Ashli Babbitt?”

Those words have become a viral mantra meant to elevate Babbitt as a righteous martyr in the cause of liberty. They ricochet around the mainline social media platforms where Trump is banned for spreading misinformation but his followers still commiserate. The woman died from a police officer’s bullet fired as she tried to climb through the jagged glass of a smashed window toward the House chamber during the riot.

Babbitt has become the face of the insurrection — emblazoned on T-shirts and cheered in basement ballrooms at hotels around the country where conspiracy theorists gather to vent. In Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, flyers are plastered on street lamps and building facades telling of an unveiling of a statue of Babbitt in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, on July 27, at “high noon.”

Trump and many Republicans have cycled through various characterizations of the insurrection, each iteration wholly unlike the previous one. The attackers were said to be leftist antifa followers in disguise. Then they were said to be overexcited tourists. Now they are heralded as foot soldiers for freedom.

Each iteration has required Americans to ignore the rage they saw on their screens, and some lawmakers to ignore that they were among the shocked targets of the attackers that day. The hunted now praise the hunters.

Taken together, the revisionists and their believers are “swimming in a vast sea of nonsense,” said Brendan Buck, a former top aide to one time House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

In the case of the insurrection, his followers looked away. An aggressive amnesia seems to have taken hold over how ugly it all was, even though the scenes that were broadcast and streamed in real time are forever.

Swarming to the Capitol after a staging rally where Trump told them to “fight like hell,” and vowed, falsely, that he would be right there with them, the attackers beat the vastly outnumbered law enforcement officers, injuring scores of them. In one particularly awful case, an officer was crushed against a door by people pushing to get in, his mouth bleeding as the side of his face pressed against the glass of the door.

Lawmakers inside ran for their lives, hiding for hours as the mob wandered the halls of Congress holding up Trump flags. The assailants called out for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and wanted Trump’s vice president, who was there, too. “Hang Mike Pence,” they chanted.

Babbitt was part of the group that was trying to beat down the doors of the House chamber as Capitol Police officers were evacuating the House floor and as some members were still trapped in the upper gallery. The officers used furniture to barricade the glass doors separating the hallway from the Speaker’s Lobby to try to stave off the attackers, who were breaking glass with their fists, flagpoles and other objects.

Only three police officers were guarding the doors on the other side of the stacked furniture as at least 20 attackers tried to get in, screaming, “F— the blue!” and “Break it down!” One smashed the door glass next to an officer’s head; another warned the officers they would be hurt if they didn’t get out of the way.

A Capitol Police lieutenant pointed his gun. “Gun!” “Gun!” the attackers shouted as the hysteria reached a fever pitch. They started to lift Babbitt up, to climb through the window. The officer fired one round.

Babbitt was struck in the shoulder. She later died. The officer was cleared of wrongdoing, and his name was not released.

Trump now states falsely — and with a stream of repetitions — that she was shot “right in the head.”

“They were there for one reason, the rigged election,” he told Fox News a week ago. “They felt the election was rigged. That’s why they were there. And they were peaceful people. These were great people. The crowd was unbelievable. And I mentioned the word love. The love — the love in the air, I have never seen anything like it.”


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