Trump mixes up Jan 6 riot ‘suspects’ with Russian spies in rambling speech at Christian faith conference

Giving his customary shout-outs to lawmakers in attendance at an event in Washington, DC on Saturday, Donald Trump gave a somewhat confused version of a story involving one of his allies in Congress.

Speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition-organized “Road to Majority” conference at the Washington Hilton on Saturday (June 22), the former president was ostensibly there to tout his supposed Christian credentials to the audience

This included his role in overturning Roe v Wade through the nomination of three conservative Supreme Court justices and his support for the recent legislation in Louisiana that requires public schools to post a copy of the Ten Commandments in every classroom.

As he made his introductory remarks thanking those in attendance for their support he specifically named one Republican lawmaker and then appeared to confuse key details of a story about him.

“Thanks also to Congressman — he’s fantastic — Barry Loudermilk is here someplace… Is here someplace. he’s doing a fantastic job with all of the things they said he walked through with Russian spies or something,” said Trump.

“It turned out to be constituents — young children. These people are sick people.”

The Republican candidate for the presidency appeared to be referring to how Loudermilk, a representative from Georgia, was accused of aiding people who stormed the Capitol on January 6 2021 by giving them a “not typical” tour of the complex the day before.

Chairman Barry Loudermilk of Georgia speaking at the ‘Road to Majority’ conference in 2022 (Getty Images)
Chairman Barry Loudermilk of Georgia speaking at the ‘Road to Majority’ conference in 2022 (Getty Images)

In 2022, the January 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot released video evidence that appeared to show Loudermilk leading members of a tour group that photographed and recorded “areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints.”

Video footage released by the committee appeared to show the congressman, wearing a facemask, leading the tour through the House office buildings. At one point, he stops to talk to some of the group, while a man can be seen taking a photograph of a stairwell.

“Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists,” the committee’s chairman, Democrat Bennie Thompson, wrote in the letter to Loudermilk. “The January 5, 2021 tour raises concerns about their activity and intent.”

Some of those on the tour were alleged to have been involved in the violence the following day and of making threats against Democratic lawmakers.

Loudermilk responded at the time by saying that the tourists were taking pictures of children’s art on display at the Capitol complex rather than the tunnels and other sensitive areas.

First elected to Congress in 2014 and a staunch ally of Trump, Loudermilk also supports his false claim the 2020 election was rigged.

It is not clear why the former president included Russian spies in his retelling of the story.