Josh Hawley claims humiliating footage of him fleeing mob he ‘riled up’ has helped his fundraising

Hawley said it’s a “privilege” to be “attacked” by the House Select Committee

Abe Asher
Wednesday 27 July 2022 18:33 BST
Jan 6 hearing audience laughs at video of Josh Hawley running from mob

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who was widely mocked last week when footage showed him fleeing through the Capitol from the mob he’d helped incite, told CNN that he does not regret any of his actions on January 6, 2021.

“I don’t regret anything I did on that day,” Mr Hawley said in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s a privilege to be attacked by the January 6 committee. I want to say thank you for the all the help with my fundraising, it’s been tremendous.”

Mr Hawley, a first-term senator who is believed to harbour presidential ambitions, was a central figure in the congressional fight to certify the results of the 2020 election. On the morning of January 6, Mr Hawley raised his fist in a show of solidarity with protesters amassing at the US Capitol to protest Joe Biden’s victory — a display that at least one Capitol police officer reportedly believed “riled up the crowd.”

Hours after his highly visible encouragement of the rioters, a video shown by the House Select Committee investigating the events of January 6 showed Mr Hawley sprinting through a hallway after the rioters breached the building. When the committee showed the video during a hearing last week, numerous members of the audience broke into laughter.

“This is just an attempt to troll,” Mr Hawley said of the committee’s decision to show the video. “Listen, I don’t regret anything I did on that day — and the reason I’m being attacked by the Jan 6 committee is that I’m in their way. The stand I took is one that I don’t regret and won’t back down from.”

Indeed, even after fleeing for his safety, Mr Hawley still voted to overturn the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania -- an unsuccessful attempt to throw the election to Donald Trump after he and his colleagues returned to the Senate floor on the night of January 6.

Mr Hawley has also attempted to fundraise off his show of solidarity with the rioters, selling coffee mugs, t-shirts, and beer koozies with the image of him with his fist raised — an image that does not belong to his campaign but that he has refused to stop using for commercial purposes.

While Mr Hawley has attempted to put a brave face on the release of the video, he was excoriated by the editorial board of his home state Kansas City Star. The newspaper called him a “laughingstock” and noted that while Mr Hawley is about to publish a book on masculinity, the millions of people who watched the video “didn’t see much virile bravado as he ran from the mob.”

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