Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham mocked the harrowing police testimony about the Capitol riot with snickers and a ‘best political performance’ trophy

Two screenshots of Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson on their Fox News shows Tuesday 27 July 2021. Ingraham is displaying a graphic of a trophy that reads "Best Political Performance"
A composite image of Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson on their Fox News shows on July 27, 2021.

  • The Fox News hosts mocked the testimony at Tuesday’s January 6 committee hearing.
  • Carlson snickered at one officer’s testimony, while Ingraham gave out “awards” for “performances.”
  • Both hosts selectively used footage to exclude testimony about racial abuse and violence.
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Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham had a decidedly sarcastic reaction to the harrowing Tuesday testimonies of police who defended the Capitol from pro-Trump supporters on January 6.

Officers including Harry Dunn, Aquilino Gonell, Michael Fanone, and Daniel Hodges had described racial abuse, beatings, and fears for their lives at the the first hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riot.

Fox News’ leading opinion personalities had a deeply skeptical reading of the testimonies.

‘Today’s best performances’

On “The Ingraham Angle,” Ingraham introduced “the Angle awards for today’s best performances.”

Earlier that day, officers had recalled disturbing experiences of the riot. Dunn, a Black man, recalled being called the N-word by rioters, while Gonell, an Iraq war veteran, said that he believed he was going to die during the attack.

Gonell also described the use of baseball bats, hockey sticks, a rebar, and a flagpole as weapons that day. He added: “No matter if it is a pen, the way they were using these items, it was to hurt officers.”

Ingraham’s show honed in on the pen comment alone, displaying a graphic of a trophy with “Best Exaggerated Performance” emblazoned on it.

“The winner is Aquilino Gonell, who thinks the pen is literally mightier than the sword,” said Ingraham.

Private First Class Harry Dunn of the US Capitol Police wipes tears away as a video showing scenes of the January 6th attack is played before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on US Capitol on July 27, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Private First Class Harry Dunn of the Capitol Police wipes tears away at the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack.

Ingraham also mocked Dunn with a graphic of a trophy that read “Best Political Performance,” saying: “The award for blatant use of party politics when facts fail, the Angle award goes to Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn.”

Dunn told the hearing that he tries to keep politics out of his job, but he mentioned his own vote when he tried to reason with rioters who said that Joe Biden had stolen the election.

“I responded, ‘Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?'” he said. “That prompted a torrent of racial epithets.”

Ingraham cut the clip before Dunn’s mention of the racial abuse. She also took aim at Fanone, who at one point in his testimony slammed his hand on the podium in frustration – giving him “Best Action Performance,” which can be seen here:

Ingraham also “awarded” Reps. Adam Schiff and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom reacted emotionally to the testimonies, with “Best Dramatic Performance.”

‘It’s not Fallujah’

On “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Carlson took issue with several testimonies.

At the hearing, Gonell – a former Iraq war veteran – had said in a tearful speech that “on January 6th for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the Capitol than my entire deployment to Iraq.”

A US Capitol Police officer, Aquilino Gonell, wiping away tears.
CapitolPolice officer Aquilino Gonell wipes his eye as he watches a video being displayed during a House select committee hearing on the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill.

Carlson responded, saying: “Actually what happened on January 6, according to the video we do have, does not look a lot like Iraq. It’s not Fallujah.” He played footage of a relatively quiet segment of the Capitol invasion, with protesters milling peacefully about the rotunda.

Extensive footage exists of much more violent moments.

Fanone also excoriated the “indifference” shown to officers who defended the Capitol that day, adding: “I’ve been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event,”

Carlson outright laughed at this. The moment can be seen here:

Carlson went on to suggest that Fanone should have experienced trauma from the protests in Washington, DC, last year, when St. John’s Episcopal Church sustained fire damage and officers were hurt.

Carlson and some Republican lawmakers have frequently drawn comparisons between violent Black Lives Matter protests and the Capitol riot, suggesting a double standard in how they have been investigated.

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Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera says it’s ‘crazy talk’ to say not getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a ‘constitutional right’

Geraldo Rivera
In this June 25, 2010 file photo, Fox News Channel commentator Geraldo Rivera speaks on the “Fox & friends” television program in New York. Duquesne (doo-KAYN’) University says Geraldo Rivera isn’t welcome to appear on a panel at the Pittsburgh school because of a half-naked “selfie” he posted this summer. Duquesne says the cellphone picture the TV personality posted on Twitter in July 2013 was inappropriate and not in line with the school’s values as a Catholic university.

  • Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera slammed “crazy talk” about not getting the COVID-19 vaccine being a right.
  • “We too have rights: to deny the unvaccinated access to our home, school or business,” Rivera said.
  • Fox News has been widely criticized as some hosts spread false info on the vaccine.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera on Monday ripped into the “crazy” notion that not getting the COVID-19 is a “constitutional right.”

“Hearing crazy talk on cable TV right now about folks having the constitutional right not to get vaccinated. Yes (they may be dopey) but they do have that right,” Rivera, who has been a vocal proponent of getting vaccinated in recent weeks, said in a tweet. “We too have rights: to deny the unvaccinated access to our home, school or business.”

It’s not clear precisely what Rivera was referring to, but his tweet came as some hosts on Fox News such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham continue to spread misinformation on the vaccine and rail against restrictions related to COVID-19.

On Monday morning, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade defended people who do not want to get vaccinated. Kilmeade also argued it was not the government’s job to prevent people from dying.

When co-host Steve Doocy stated that 99% of the people who are dying from COVID are unvaccinated, echoing comments made by Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier this month, Kilmeade replied, “That’s their choice.”

Doocy on Monday’s show pushed against conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine and urged people to get the shot.

“If you have the chance, get the shot, it will save your life,” Doocy told viewers.

On Monday, it was also reported that Fox News has implemented a strict COVID-19 policy that includes a form of a vaccine passport that hosts like Carlson and Ingraham have passionately condemned.

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GOP lawmakers are moving to force businesses in their states to serve the unvaccinated, claiming it as a civil right

anti-vaccine protest
Rally goers hold signs protesting vaccines at the “World Wide Rally for Freedom”, an anti-mask and anti-vaccine rally, at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire, May 15, 2021.

  • GOP state lawmakers want to ensure that businesses and organizations serve unvaccinated people.
  • This opposition comes as COVID-19 infections are rising among unvaccinated people.
  • This move also coincides with Fox News hosts criticizing ongoing vaccination efforts.
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Republicans are rallying to protect the rights of unvaccinated people while COVID-19 infections are spiking within that same population across the United States.

Several state GOP lawmakers are proposing legislation that would make it illegal to “discriminate” against unvaccinated individuals, using similar protections as those applied on the basis of gender, race, and religion, Axios reported on Monday. These bills aim to prohibit the public and private sector from denying goods and services to unvaccinated people.

At least one state, Montana, has signed such a bill into law. There, businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants are not allowed to refuse customers based on their vaccination status. Similarly, employers are forbidden from refusing to hire someone based on whether they’ve been vaccinated, per Axios.

Other GOP-led states have enacted similar measures. In Alabama, schools and colleges are not allowed to require vaccines, Axios reported. The state government and private companies are also not permitted to refuse services to people who are not yet vaccinated.

These state efforts represent yet another resistance to coronavirus vaccinations as the federal government continues its push to encourage people to get the shot. Earlier this year, several Republican governors enacted bans on so-called vaccine passport requirements, which would offer proof of an individual’s vaccination status.

Mainstream conservative media is also sounding off on recent vaccine efforts. The New York Times reported on Monday that Fox News hosts including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have bashed President Joe Biden’s decision to pursue a “door-to-door” vaccine drive.

Ingraham called the latest approach “creepy stuff” and Carlson described it as “the greatest scandal” in his lifetime, according to The Times.

Republicans skeptical of the COVID-19 shot have protested vaccination efforts for months, deeming the public-health push to be an infringement on personal rights. This fight is reminiscent of GOP opposition toward mask mandates and social-distancing protocols but stands in stark contrast to former President Donald Trump’s embrace of the COVID-19 vaccine. Trump, for his part, has lauded his administration’s rollout of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines last December and touted the vaccine’s safety.

GOP hostility toward vaccines has been an ongoing challenge for the Biden administration because the White House is pushing to combat vaccine skepticism and boost the public’s confidence in the shot by working with state and local leaders.

Nearly all recent coronavirus-related deaths in the US are in unvaccinated people, Centers for Disease and Control Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky announced last week. States like Montana and Alabama have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, according to data compiled by The New York Times. Around 53% of Montanan adults are fully vaccinated. In Alabama, that number is only at 41.8%.

By contrast, blue-leaning states like Vermont and Massachusetts are seeing higher vaccination rates, with over 70% of each state’s adult populations fully vaccinated, per The Times. Similarly, New York has 66.5% of its adults fully vaccinated and California is at 61.8%.

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Fox News host Laura Ingraham suggests the US military should be defunded after top general’s defense of anti-racism education goes viral

Fox News host Laura Ingraham speaks to guests over a chyron reading "General Milley embarrasses himself with woke rant."
Fox News host Laura Ingraham, center.

  • Fox News host Laura Ingraham lashed out at top US Gen. Mark Milley over his viral testimony.
  • Milley defended the military against critiques that it has gone “woke” with diversity training.
  • Ingraham said Pentagon efforts to weed out extremists “just means conservative Evangelicals.”
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After Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham made sure to note she respects Gen. Mark Milley’s service – an infantry officer who served in the Green Berets during his four-decade career – she tore into the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The segment on her 10 p.m. show is the latest episode of prominent Fox personalities putting the military on blast, with the network’s top-rated host, Tucker Carlson, mocking “woke generals” in March after defense officials called him out for spreading misinformation about transgender service members and suggesting pregnant women would fight wars.

Milley’s Congressional testimony went viral on Wednesday when the general swatted away accusations from Republicans that the military has gone “woke” by embracing critical race theory, an academic practice focusing on how racism plays a role in laws and public policy.

The general explained how diversity training is important and that cadets at West Point are also university students who should be “open minded and be widely read,” but that does not mean they’ve been radicalized.

Ingraham took umbrage at Milley’s testimony.

Ingraham accused Milley of being “a total partisan,” and misleadingly described Pentagon efforts to weed out white supremacists and other extremists.

“We are sending our tax dollars to this military in an attempt to weed out so-called extremists, which just means conservative Evangelicals, as far as I can tell,” Ingraham said.

“The fact is, Milley has made his choice,” she said at another point. “And he’s chosen to indulge the radical whims of Democrats. He’ll do everything they tell him as long as they keep the military-industrial complex flush with cash.”

Some of Milley’s testimony was directed at critiques from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who went from being a fixture on Fox News to not appearing at all ever since he became enveloped in a child sex trafficking investigation that he maintains is a a smear campaign against him.

The attacks show the extent that even Milley, a Trump nominee, has been unable to steer the US military clear of the cultural wars. Milley oversees a work force of nearly 1.4 million active-duty troops and their instruction from boot camps to graduate schools that ensure they are a capable and cohesive fighting force that doesn’t tolerate abuse or discrimination in the ranks.

Read more: How Matt Gaetz went in just 3 months from Fox News darling to being ‘excommunicated’ from the network’s many shows

She then suggested defunding the military over critical race theory, which Milley said isn’t something he’s very familiar with, and focused most of his testimony on broader instruction about the United States’ history of racism within the armed forces.

“Why is Congress not saying we’re not going to give you a penny until all of this is eradicated from the military budget,” Ingraham said. “Nothing. This is my offer to you: nothing. That’s what I would say. I am totally outraged by him and his ridiculous response today.”

Ingraham also accused Milley of being a Marxist, a critique he specifically addressed on Wednesday.

“I’ve read Mao Zedong, I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist,” Milley said. “So what is wrong with some situational understanding of the country for which we are personally here to defend?”

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Fox News isn’t even pretending to be a news network anymore – it’s time for consumers to force cable providers and advertisers to drop the network

fox news ratings
Fox News headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

  • Fox News has given up all pretense of acting as a news network.
  • It’s time advertisers and cable companies stop funding the deception Fox beams into American homes.
  • The more people let cable providers know that they are done funding Fox News, the less leverage the network has going into renegotiations.
  • Nikki Ramirez is a researcher at Media Matters For America, a nonprofit media watchdog.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
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After a year spent undermining public health and safety, eroding confidence in our democracy, and mainstreaming white nationalism, it’s become even clearer that Fox News is a threat to the American public. Now, the network wants more money.

Per multiple industry publications, Fox News made a preemptive pitch to advertisers on May 11 in advance of the advertising industry “upfront” presentations scheduled to begin the following week. Major television networks, including Fox News, have traditionally used those presentations to sell the majority of their advertising space “upfront” for the year ahead.

Reports suggest that in that pitch, Fox News touted its daytime programming and streaming service and did not mention its prime-time lineup, presenting it’s day-side and online programming as a subdued and safe investment for buyers.

The move is understandable. Tucker Carlson and his fellow prime-time hosts, including Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, have made the channel a toxic swamp for advertisers, who’ve fled in droves.

Those of us who watch Fox News daily know that there is very little news reporting left on the network’s “news side.” Watch a single night of the network’s “reporting” and it becomes abundantly clear that Fox has dropped all pretenses of operating as a journalistic operation. The network has used the cover of its “opinion” side to truncate coverage of the mundane trappings of real world news events in favor of culture war narratives like “the war on beef,” the apocalyptic threat of “cancel culture,” obsessive, fear mongering about transgender individuals, or a network-wide fixation on critical race theory.

And while conjuring controversy out of thin air is a staple at the network, executives have steadily transitioned resources away from “news side” operations in favor of buttressing the antics of their opinion hosts – antics that have landed the network in multiple multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuits and forced Fox to argue in court that its most popular anchor, Tucker Carlson, shouldn’t actually be taken seriously by viewers.

Fox is expecting an uphill battle in convincing potential advertisers and cable companies that they won’t face public backlash for being the financial backer the next time a Fox host endorses a white nationalist conspiracy theory, casts doubts on the results of a fair and free election, or contributes to the consistent stream of virulent rhetoric that plagues the network.

In fact, a broad and diverse coalition of more than 40 organizations sent an open letter to media buyers during the television industry’s upfront period, urging them not to buy advertisements on Fox News, warning that any ad spend on the network will fund the promotion of COVID conspiracy theories, bigotry, and lies.

In response to that letter, Fox News told The Wrap that it is “about to close out its fourth consecutive year delivering new records in advertising revenue, so clearly Media Matters’ predictable ongoing partisan attacks have zero impact outside of their irrelevant echo chamber on social media.”

The network was one of the biggest backers of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the results of the 2020 election. Following the January 6 storming of the US Capitol building, Fox became headquarters for the public relations defense of the rioters who attempted to stop the vote to certify Joe Biden’s election.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed almost 600,000 Americans, Fox News chose to provide its audience not with informative coverage, but with a flood of misinformation and conspiracy theories. The network denounced protective measures like masks and social distancing, broadcast conspiracy theories about vaccines, and consistently undermined trust in public health officials and the scientific community.

During the upfronts, Fox News scrambled to draw a veil over their record and paint a sunny picture for investors and media buyers. But the network that has built itself as a place for laundering and repackaging extremism, and has handsomely rewarded those who do it well. Now it faces a reckoning with advertisers and cable companies, whose cash and contracts Fox needs.

Head of Fox Corp Lachlan Murdoch has made clear that there is no line he won’t let his hosts cross. Tucker Carlson has long been a major hub of white nationalist talking points, but on April 8, Carlson made one of his most explicit endorsements of the worldview to date: an outright embrace of the “great replacement” conspiracy theory. It is abundantly clear that Fox News will not only tolerate Carlson’s full-throated amplification of white nationalist ideology, but will actively enable and support it. Simply put: Public condemnation alone will achieve nothing. The way to force accountability at Fox is to put its finances on the line.

Consumer pressure

While the prospect may seem daunting, the 2021 advertising bookings represent a unique opportunity for an exercise in consumer power. Fox is banking on its viewers’ ignorance of advertising sales practices and cable subscriber fees to keep its head above water. But the reality is that Fox collects a lot of its advertising money upfront and every American household with a basic cable package gives the network roughly $20 a year regardless of whether they actually watch the channel.

Fox has for a long time leveraged the promise of a loyal viewership in order to increase the fee it charges cable companies to carry their channel, negotiating a much higher price than the other major news networks charge. While more than 90 million households pay for Fox News, only about 3 million are regular viewers.

Fox News understands what should be clear to everyone: that advertising dollars and cable subscriber fees are what fund the disordered stew the network attempts to pass off as news. Fox recognized that upfronts are critical and that they are no longer a guaranteed bet for investors – that’s why the network is attempting to hide its most controversial talent in the back room until the contracts are signed. It’s why Fox has made a conspicuous pivot to streaming, where it’s given its most caustic anchor two new shows that are insulated from the scrutiny of accessible public viewing.

Despite these tactics, advertisers and cable companies can no longer feign ignorance regarding the destructive nature of Fox News’ programming. It is no longer simply a matter of financial interest but a clear-cut ethical boundary.

The more pressure placed on the networks’ backers to stop funding Fox News, by contacting them directly or joining initiatives like #UnFoxMyCableBox, the less leverage the network has going into renegotiations. A mutiny by cable consumers, coupled with a drought of advertiser interest, could push Fox toward a financial position vulnerable enough to force a change.

As Fox competes for advertising dollars, it is also in the process of renegotiating between 40% to 50% of its cable contracts. Media Matters President Angelo Carusone explained to On The Media’s Bob Garfield that Fox News “could have zero commercials, and still have a 90% profit margin, because they are the second-most expensive channel on everybody’s cable box.”

Carusone went on to explain that if Fox is “able to successfully complete these renegotiations over the next year, and get more money out of it, there’s nothing they can do or say that will get them any meaningful consequences and force them to change.” If Fox can make it through this year’s upfronts and renegotiations unscathed, it could mean years of financial impunity.

It’s time to defund Fox News. The network has forfeit any right to claim to special treatment by advertisers and cable providers. By continuing to support the network’s outsized cash grab under consumers’ noses, advertising agencies and cable companies are safeguarding the slush fund that enables Fox to dodge any form of accountability, no matter the detrimental effect it has on the American public.

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GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger calls Trump ‘an utter failure’ after the former president said that the Capitol rioters posed ‘zero threat’

Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) speaks during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2021.

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger blasted Trump for downplaying the threat of the Capitol insurrectionists.
  • Trump called into Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show and lodged complaints about the election.
  • Kinzinger said that Trump’s on-air statements were “quite honestly sick and disgusting.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of the most prominent Republican critics of former President Donald Trump’s influence over the party, went after the former president again last week.

When Trump called into the Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s nightly show, he continued to push 2020 election-related complaints, but Ingraham pivoted to the deadly January 6 Capitol riot, asking the former president if he’s concerned that the US Capitol has become a “fortress” after attempted insurrection.

“I think it’s disgraceful,” he said. “It’s a political maneuver that they’re doing. It was zero threat, right from the start. Some of them went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards. They had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in and they walked out.”

He added: “I’ll tell you what. They’re persecuting a lot of those people. Some things should happen to ’em … but why aren’t they going after Antifa?”

Read more: A Trump-appointed prosecutor blindsided the Biden DOJ with a ’60 Minutes’ interview on the Capitol riot cases. Now a federal judge wants to talk about it.

Kinzinger rebuked Trump’s minimization of the riot, which included the death of US Capitol police office Brian D. Sicknick.

“He is an utter failure,” he wrote on Twitter. “No remorse and no regret. It’s quite honestly sick and disgusting.”

Kinzinger, who has represented a Republican-leaning congressional district anchored in central and northern Illinois since 2013, has been criticized by his own family in two open letters disparaging him for his vote to impeach Trump earlier this year and for his vocal criticism of the former president.

In one of the letters, Kinzinger’s relatives suggested that the congressman had committed “treason” as a member of the military for openly criticizing Trump and was working with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, whom they labeled a “witch/devil.”

Trump was impeached by the House for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the attack and 57 senators – including seven members of the president’s own party – supported the conviction.

Since the Senate didn’t meet a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, to convict, Trump was acquitted of the charge.

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Trump falsely claims the Capitol rioters were ‘hugging and kissing’ police as they stormed the building

trump impeached
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Donald Trump falsely claimed the Capitol riot posed “zero threat” and defended his loyalists who stormed the building on January 6.
  • Trump falsely claimed some rioters hugged and kissed Capitol police officers as they invaded the Capitol.
  • One officer died after being attacked with chemical spray; more than 100 others were hurt during the riot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump downplayed the Capitol riot, falsely claimed it posed “zero threat,” and defended his loyalists who stormed the building on January 6 during an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night.

Trump claimed that some of the rioters had “great relationships” with the Capitol police, although one officer died and more than 100 were injured after being attacked by violent rioters. Trump suggested some of the rioters didn’t commit any offense by invading the US Capitol building as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 election.

“It was zero threat, right from the start, it was zero threat,” Trump said. “They went in, they shouldn’t have done it. Some of them went in and they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards, they had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in and they walked out.”

There is no evidence that the rioters hugged or kissed officers. Trump may have been referring to footage of a Capitol Police officer taking a selfie with one of the insurrectionists and some officers appearing to allow the crowd into the building.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died after rioters attacked him with chemical spray. Two rioters were arrested earlier this month and charged with assaulting Sicknick and two other police officers. Many of Trump’s loyalists chanted death threats against former Vice President Mike Pence as they entered the Capitol.

Still, Trump claimed his supporters are being “persecuted” by federal law enforcement because of their political beliefs.

“They’re persecuting a lot of those people, and some of them should be – some things should happen to them, but when I look at antifa in Washington … and nothing happens to them whatsoever,” Trump said. “They don’t talk about antifa, they don’t talk about BLM, they don’t talk about any of the other groups on the left.”

Ingraham jumped in to steer Trump away from arguing that the rioters shouldn’t be prosecuted.

“But you would say that people who commit crimes, regardless of what their political affiliations are, should be prosecuted?” she asked.

Trump responded, “Absolutely. What you said is exactly right.” But he also added: “They go after people on the right in spades and they don’t go after people at all on the left.”

The former president also took the opportunity to repeat his election lies, which incited the violence he attempted to defend.

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