Jan. 6: How the right wing has rewritten the history of the Capitol attack

In the immediate aftermath of the attempted insurrection on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021, Republican elected officials and many members of right-leaning media strongly denounced the riot and those who took part in the violence. Now, one year later, their story has changed — some even going so far as to argue that events the nation witnessed on live television did not occur. Yahoo News has compiled a detailed chronological timeline of how the rhetoric surrounding Jan. 6 has evolved over the last 12 months.

Video transcript

DONALD TRUMP, JR.: You have an opportunity today. You can be a hero, or you can be a zero.

DONALD TRUMP: I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building.

MO BROOKS: Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.

RUDY GIULIANI: Let's have trial by combat.

DONALD TRUMP: And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.

- Get down, get down.


DONALD TRUMP: We have to have peace. So go home. We love you, you're very special.

TUCKER CARLSON: We have a duty to oppose all of this.

NANCY MACE: It's un-American. We're better than this.

MARCO RUBIO: I think it's inexcusable.

KEVIN MCCARTHY: What happened today was not right.

RON JOHNSON: I don't condone it in the slightest. I condemn it.

MITCH MCCONNELL: The United States Senate will not be intimidated.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Count me out. Enough is enough.

- Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable. The president's conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters.

RONNY JACKSON: That should not happen in this country, and it dang sure shouldn't happen in the US Capitol.

DAN CRENSHAW: They've been lying that January 6 was going to be this big solution for election integrity. It never was going to be.

TREY GOWDY: I mean, who in the hell really thinks that Mike Pence is going to say, "You know what? I hereby declare that President Trump is the winner"? He doesn't have the power to do that.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY: It is unacceptable, and those that broke the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

DONALD TRUMP: Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem.

LAURA INGRAHAM: President Trump's message of unity tonight was pitch perfect. Though I wish it had come yesterday, of course.

TUCKER CARLSON: Fox News is reporting that Mitch McConnell thinks impeachment will help the Republican Party get rid of Donald Trump, and the stain he has left on the party.

GREG KELLY: - It was bad, it was awful, never should have happened. But I'm sick of hearing about last week's riot on Capitol Hill, all right? They're using it to try to make us feel guilty, responsible for something.

MARCO RUBIO: There's no doubt that the president Bears some responsibility for what happened. I think what happened was a foreseeable consequence.

TED CRUZ: So the Democrats right now, what they're trying to say, is that President Trump's rhetoric what caused the terrorist attack on the Capitol. And listen, the president's language at times I think is overheated.

LAURA INGRAHAM: The January 6 Capitol riot was a gift to Democrats. It gave them the video and the narrative that they've desperately wanted, and they needed, to justify a crackdown on the civil liberties of all conservatives.

GRANT STINCHFIELD: Yes there were those who committed violent acts on January 6, and they should be punished. But the majority of men and women who ventured into the Capitol were not right wing extremists.

PAUL GOSAR: The DOJ is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.

ANDREW CLYDE: You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.

- A vote is set to take place on setting up a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 riots.

TUCKER CARLSON: Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader in the house, today did something right. He said he will not support a commission, a 9/11 style commission, to investigate the insurrection of January 6. Remember that? It's when a bunch of middle aged people deep in credit card debt, white supremacists, teamed up with a guy dressed like Chewbacca to overthrow our democracy.

RON JOHNSON: And you know, the fact of the matter is, even calling it an insurrection, it wasn't.

GREG KELLY: - January 6 was not an insurrection. Not an insurrection, no matter how much they hype, this exaggerated, sensationalize it, lie about it, it was not an insurrection.

MITCH MCCONNELL: After careful consideration, I've made the decision to oppose the House Democrats' slanted and unbalanced proposal.

ROY BLUNT: I think it's too early to create a commission.

DONALD TRUMP: And that was an unfortunate event. I say, though however, people are being treated unbelievably unfairly.

MARIA BARTIROMO: What happened that day, from your standpoint?

DONALD TRUMP: They felt the election was rigged. That's why they were there. And they were peaceful people, these were great people.

LAURA INGRAHAM: There was certainly a lot of violence that day, but it was not a terrorist attack. Wasn't 9/11, it wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to America. It wasn't an insurrection.

JIM JORDAN: We know this committee is out to get the former President.

- On January 6, did you speak with him before, during, or after the Capitol was attacked?

JIM JORDAN: I'd have to go-- I spoke with him that day, after? I think after. I don't know if I spoke with him in the morning or not. I just don't know.

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: Now they want to drag Americans, and American taxpayers, through another witch hunt.

GREG KELLY: More and more I'm hearing that January 6 had to be some sort of a setup. Democrats may have had a hand in setting the conditions, and even perhaps, setting the whole thing up.

TUCKER CARLSON: I mean, it was never an insurrection. It was a melee, and people got super exercised. I think there were complicated components.

- It felt totally like some kind of setup was being made.

TUCKER CARLSON: Their instincts were right. It was a setup.

If it wasn't an insurrection, then what was it?

- It is my opinion that false flags have happened in this country.

DONALD TRUMP: I have nothing to hide. I wasn't involved in that. And if you look at my words, and what I said in the speech, they were extremely calming.

SEAN HANNITY: Last night, in a weak attempt to smear yours truly and presumably, I guess, President Trump, Congresswoman Cheney presented one of my text messages from January 6 to Mark Meadows.

LIZ CHENEY: Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol, Sean Hannity urged.

SEAN HANNITY: Do we believe in privacy in this country? Apparently not.

LIZ CHENEY: The president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy, Laura Ingraham wrote.

LAURA INGRAHAM: The real big lie is the expansive narrative of January 6. That these clowns have made the center of their political existence.


GEORGE W BUSH: We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But then there's disdainful pluralism in their disregard for human life. In their determination to defile national symbols. They are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.


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