Desperate disinformation failed miserably as so many Trumpists were obsessed with selfie declarations of their assault on the Capitol yesterday. Because they wanted trophies and attention-seeking recognition, many familiar “alt-right” white supremacists revealed themselves, as well as some public officials and even at least one police chief.
In thousands of posts on Twitter and Facebook, members of the far right pushed the unfounded claim that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, carrying Trump flags and halting Congress’s counting of electoral votes, was made up of liberal activists posing as a pro-Trump community to give it a bad name.
Several posts shared by thousands of people held up photographs as evidence that antifa supporters were behind the unrest. But those images did not, in fact, show antifa involvement. Instead, some of the photographs, and the information contained in them, suggested ties to far right movements.
Even President Trump acknowledged that the people who supported him — not liberal activists — had invaded the Capitol. At one point on Wednesday he told the mob that “we love you.”Among the most popular figures pushing the conspiracy theory were the commentator Candace Owens, the Georgia lawyer L. Lin Wood and Juanita Broaddrick, a nursing home administrator who in 1999 publicly accused President Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978. Other prominent figures spreading the rumor included Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas; Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate; and Representative Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican.
— Eric Rosenwald (@rosenwald_eric) January 8, 2021
— Dr. HawaiiDelilah™ (@HawaiiDelilah) January 8, 2021
And then there appeared to be more limitations that actually constrained a national guard response, along with some problems with mutual aid (darn that police anarchism).
— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) January 8, 2021
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) January 8, 2021
“you know this wasn't an Antifa action because there would've been barricades, a soup kitchen, and first aid tent set up by now.”
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 7, 2021
One sure sign that the violence that wracked the Capitol on Wednesday was broadly unacceptable to President Trump’s usual allies was how quickly some pivoted to blame people other than the president and his base of supporters.
— NPR (@NPR) January 8, 2021
— WIRED Science (@WIREDScience) January 8, 2021
— Mike P Williams (@Mike_P_Williams) January 7, 2021
39% of Americans, 31% of independents, and 17% of Democrats “believe the election was rigged.” — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
Mostly False. Cruz’s claim is based on a specific poll and the total percentage of survey respondents who “somewhat” or “strongly” agreed with the statement: “I am concerned that the election is rigged.” That doesn’t necessarily mean they thought it was rigged.
Another question in the Reuters/Ipsos survey asked people more directly about their view of the election. The percentage of people who said the election was “the result of illegal voting or election rigging” was much lower than the numbers Cruz cited.