Trump calls rally before Capitol attack a ‘lovefest’ and ‘beautiful thing’ on Fox News

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Bailey Aldridge
·2 min read
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Former President Donald Trump on Sunday called his Jan. 6 rally before the attack on the U.S. Capitol a “lovefest.”

Trump touted the crowd size at the rally — during which he made false claims about the election and urged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill. He also blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others for what he called a lack of security when asked on Fox News if there was anything he would have “done differently that day.”

“That rally was massive. I mean, the press doesn’t like to talk about it, but the real number was much, much bigger in terms of the people that were at the location,” he told Fox News. “It went all the way back practically to the Washington Monument. Not the Capitol, I’m talking about the rally itself.”

The National Park Service told NBC News before the rally that organizers expected about 30,000 people to attend.

Trump went on to call the rally a “lovefest” and a “beautiful thing.”

During the rally near the White House, Trump falsely claimed that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and stolen from him, and urged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill, telling them they “have to show strength.”

Rioters then breached police lines and stormed the Capitol as Congress was convened to certify then President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. They scaled walls, smashed windows and laid siege on the building — forcing lawmakers to evacuate.

The riot results in five deaths, and two Capitol police officers later died by suicide.

Lawmakers from both parties, at least in part, blamed the attack on Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the 2020 election, including at the rally. Long before the rally, Trump had continuously made unfounded claims about election fraud and attempted to overturn the results.

A week after the attack, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on a charge that incited an insurrection — making him the first U.S. president to be impeached more than once. He was later acquitted of that charge in the U.S. Senate trial in February.

Trump also suggested during the Fox News interview that Pelosi was responsible for rejecting a request to deploy the National Guard ahead of the rally.

But Pelosi did not have authority over then House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, who reportedly rejected the request, according to a fact check from The Fresno Bee. Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill also said Pelosi’s office wasn’t aware of any requests for the National Guard.