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'That makes no sense at all': GOP senators dispute Trump's characterizations of the January 6 rioters

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Donald Trump against a blue sky with white clouds.
Former President Donald Trump. Getty
  • On Sunday, former President Donald Trump said Capitol rioters were "peaceful" and "great people."

  • Some GOP senators pushed back on his description of the mob that breached the Capitol on January 6.

  • "That makes no sense at all. I dispute his facts tremendously," Sen. Shelley Capito said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Some GOP senators disagreed with former President Donald Trump's characterization of the Capitol rioters as "peaceful" and "great people."

In an interview with the Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, Trump repeated his false claims that the 2020 election was rigged and praised the pro-Trump mob that breached the Capitol on January 6.

"There was such love at that rally. You had over a million people - they were there for one reason, the rigged election. They felt the election was rigged," Trump said. "That's why they were there, and they were peaceful people, these were great people. The crowd was unbelievable. And I mentioned the word 'love,' the love in the air, I've never seen anything like it."

Some GOP senators took issue with the former president's description of the deadly events that transpired on January 6.

"I think that what people saw with their own eyes reflects a different reality," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told HuffPost's Igor Bobic.

Sen. Shelley Capito of West Virginia also disputed Trump's characterization of the insurrection.

"That makes no sense at all. I dispute his facts tremendously," she told Bobic.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who was previously the president pro tempore of the Senate, declined to comment on Trump's remarks, telling Bobic he weighs in only on things he's read or heard himself.

During the interview with Bartiromo on Sunday, Trump also floated the possibility that the officer who shot the Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt was part of a security detail for a Democratic member of Congress.

"I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt. They're protecting that person," the former president said. "I've heard also that it was the head of security for a certain high official, a Democrat, and we'll see, because it's going to come out. It's going to come out."

The US Capitol Police officer who shot Babbitt was not part of a security detail for a specific member of Congress and has not returned to duty, NBC News' Tom Winter and CNN's Zachary Cohen said, citing law-enforcement sources.

Representatives for Trump and Capito did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. A spokesperson for Cornyn said the senator did not have anything to comment beyond his remarks to Bobic.

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