Trump promotes conspiracy theories about Capitol riot during Arizona rally

Ex-president put forward bogus theory that people at the insurrection were FBI agents

Eric Garcia
Sunday 16 January 2022 13:41
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Donald Trump promoted a baseless conspiracy theory that some of the 6 January US Capitol rioters were FBI agents while speaking at a rally in Arizona.

The former US president made the suggestion when speaking to a crowd at a rally in Florence as he continued to repeat his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

“Exactly how many of those present at the Capitol complex on January 6 were FBI confidential informants, agents or otherwise, working directly or indirectly with an agency of the United States government,” Mr Trump asked a rally of supporters. “People want to hear this.”

Mr Trump also alluded to a debunked conspiracy theory that Ray Epps was a government agent who provoked rioters to storm the Capitol. Sen Ted Cruz questioned Federal Bureau of Investigation National Security Branch official Jill Sanborn about Mr Epps during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week.

“How about the one guy, ‘go in, go in, get in there everybody, Epps,” Mr Trump told the crowd to hollers. “Nothing happens to him. What happened with him. Nothing happened. Did any of these individuals play a role in proving or facilitating the events at the Capitol? That’s what we want to know.”

Conservatives such as right-wing talk show host Tucker Carlson have said that Mr Epps was a provocateur who encouraged people to enter the Capitol. But Rep Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the select committee investigating the riot, debunked the theory, saying that he did not enter the Capitol on January 6 and was removed from the FBI’s most wanted list because he apparently broke no laws.

Mr Trump asked instead why people were not investigating unfounded claims of voter fraud that he says swung the election to president Joe Biden.

“There is massive that shows exactly what I’m talking about and it’s coming out rapidly and it’s come out, and it’s coming very big in the great state of Arizona,” he said.

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