‘That makes no sense at all’: GOP senators dispute Trump’s characterizations of the January 6 rioters

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump Getty
  • On Sunday, former President Trump praised Capitol rioters as “peaceful” and “great people.”
  • Some GOP senators refuted Trump’s description of the mob that breached the Capitol on January 6.
  • “That makes no sense at all. I dispute his facts tremendously,” Sen. Shelley Capito said Monday.
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GOP senators disagreed with former President Donald Trump’s characterization of the Capitol rioters after he called them “peaceful” and “great people.”

Trump appeared in an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, repeating false claims that the 2020 election was rigged, and praised the pro-Trump mob that breached the Capitol on January 6.

“There was such love at that rally, you had over a million people, they were there for one reason, the rigged election, they felt the election was rigged,” Trump said during the interview. “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 in the air, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Some GOP senators took issue with the former president’s description of the deadly events that transpired on January 6.

“I think that what people saw with their own eyes reflects a different reality,” GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.

Sen. Shelley Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, also disputed Trump’s characterization of the insurrection.

“That makes no sense at all. I dispute his facts tremendously,” she told Bobic.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who previously served as President pro tempore of the Senate, declined to comment on Trump’s remarks and told Bobic he only weighs in on things he has read or heard himself.

During the interview with Bartiromo on Sunday, Trump also floated the possibility that the officer who shot Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt was part of a security detail for a Democratic member of Congress.

“I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt, they’re protecting that person,” the former president said. “I’ve heard also that it was the head of security for a certain high official – a Democrat – and we’ll see because it’s going to come out. It’s going to come out.”

The US Capitol Police officer who shot Babbitt was not part of a security detail for a specific member of Congress and has not yet returned to duty, according to NBC News’ Tom Winter and CNN’s Zachary Cohen, citing law-enforcement sources.

Representatives for Trump and Capito did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Cornyn said the senator did not have anything to comment beyond his remarks to Bobic.