Trump calls J6 defendants 'warriors'

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Former President Trump defended his supporters who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and called them “warriors” at a Nevada rally on Sunday.

“Those J6 warriors – they were warriors – but they were really, more than anything else, they’re victims of what happened,” Trump said at the rally, speaking to a crowd of supporters.

“All they were doing is protesting a rigged election. That’s what they were doing,” Trump continued, repeating his false claims that the 2024 presidential election was rigged against him.

Trump also falsely claimed police welcomed rioters into the Capitol and, Trump said, told the rioters, “Go in, go in, go in, go in.”

“What a set up that was,” Trump added. “What a horrible, horrible thing, and you know, that blows two ways, that blows two ways, believe me.”

Trump and his supporters have at times sought to recharacterize the Jan. 6 riots as peaceful. In reality, however, about 140 officers were injured, and five died in the days after the attack. One Capitol Police officer likened the scene to a “war zone” and recounted, before a congressional committee, slipping in other people’s blood as she engaged in “hand-to-hand combat” for hours.

Trump, in the past, has used similar words to describe those jailed over their actions during the Jan. 6 attack. In November 2023, Trump referred to them as “hostages.”

He also said in March that, if reelected in November, one of his first tasks will be to “Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned!”

As of Jan. 6, 2024, more than 1,200 defendants had been charged in connection to the attack on the Capitol. More than 450 have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, according to the Justice Department.

More than 700 individuals have pleaded guilty to various federal charges, the Justice Department said.

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