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Trump calls Jan 6 a ‘beautiful day’ during combative CNN town hall

‘They were there with love in their hearts’

John Bowden
Washington DC
Thursday 11 May 2023 02:48 BST
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Trump calls Jan 6 a ‘beautiful day’ during CNN town hall

Former President Donald Trump doubled down on his support for his fans who attacked the US Capitol, during a contentious CNN town hall on Wednesday where Mr Trump steamrolled moderator Kaitlan Collins and repeated numerous falsehoods.

During Wednesday night’s broadcast, the president enjoyed a friendly audience that was receptive to both his continued lies about fraud in the 2020 election as well as his vow to pardon some of the January 6 rioters prosecuted by the Justice Department.

And he spoke glowingly about the day when his supporters stormed the steps of American democracy and fought with police while screaming threats, insults, and slurs.

“It was a beautiful day,” he said, adding that his fans “were there with love in their hearts” when they left dozens of police officers with injuries and chanted death threats targeting lawmakers as they marched through the Capitol.

The former president talked over Collins at numerous points, aided by his cheering fans in the crowd, and repeated lie after lie about supposed instances of fraud in the 2020 election before moving on to the day of the attack on Congress itself. Speaking of the attack, the former president minimised the violence as well as the danger that lawmakers inside faced, including his own vice president who Mr Trump said was never really threatened.

He would even falsely accuse the police officer who killed rioter Ashli Babbitt, as she attempted to breach the House floor with lawmakers still inside, of “bragging” about the shooting on TV.

Above all else, it was classic Donald Trump: Unabashed support for anyone willing to go to the mat for him and his political movement, and an absolute refusal to accept facts that contradict his narrative.

It was also, to the lament of many journalists online, classic CNN circa 2016: Half-hearted attempts at corrections for a smattering of the ex-president’s falsehoods undermined by the networks various choices — including Collins’ own to move on to other topics quickly after issuing one of those various editorial notes.

Mr Trump remains the leading candidate for the 2024 GOP nomination even as he continues to face a criminal investigation in Georgia into his and his legal team’s conduct and their efforts to interfere in Georgia’s election results; the Department of Justice also continues to investigate and mull potential charges for members of Mr Trump’s inner circle including the former president himself related to the attack on the Capitol.

Hundreds of other Americans have already been charged and in many cases convicted for their roles in the brutal assault.

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