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Capitol Riot Was Not Like "Normal Tourist Visit"

Matthew Koehler Matthew Koehler
14th May 2021
Capitol Riot Was Not Like "Normal Tourist Visit"
Clyde's comments do not match footage from the event (Getty Images).

The Claim

The January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol looked like “a normal tourist visit.”  

Emerging story

On Wednesday, May 11, during a House Oversight Committee hearing on the Capitol insurrection, Rep. Andrew Clyde said the riot in early January was no different from any other busy tourist day in D.C. He said, "[T]here was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures, you know." 

The video trended with media outlets and social media users trying to set the record straight and offer their opinions of the representative's comments. One twitter user spliced the video of the Rep. Clyde's comments with actual footage from Jan. 6, showing a contrast between the representative's narrative and the reality. 

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar looked into the claim and found that Rep. Clyde's comments are impossible to reconcile with footage of the violence that took place over several hours while members of Congress hid. 

Five people were ultimately killed over the course of the afternoon. 

The first was Air Force Veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot trying to crawl through a broken window into the Speaker's Lobby. Babbitt was one of hundreds in a crowd of thousands who was part of QAnon.

Officer Brian Sicknick, who was beaten and sprayed with chemical irritant by rioters, later died from two strokes a day after being taken to the hospital. Over 140 officers were also injured while trying to protect the Capitol. 

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According to NBC and other media outlets, to date "more than 440 people have been charged so far with participating in the attack." Many of the people arrested, and those still sought by authorities, have ties to extremist groups. Coverage from the day also shows "hundreds of Trump supporters" storming the Capitol wearing tactical gear, bats, shields, and walkie talkies.

However, Clyde and other members of the GOP continue to shift the narrative of the January 6 riot. Rep. Jody Hice (R–Ga.) referred to Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol as the real victims, saying, "It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others."

Clyde, who was at the Capitol that day, and in his own words, said he "stayed...on the House Floor...with other Republican colleagues" to help “barricade the door.” He seems to be ignoring his own words in claiming that it was like any other tourist visit.

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Asked to clarify his comments from the Wednesday Oversight hearing, Rep. Clyde tried to accuse the reporters of not being honest and taking his comments out of context

Despite Clyde's efforts to try and reframe the narrative around January 6 to one that denies that it was violent, footage and testimony from the day strongly contradict the claims. It is for this reason that Misbar deems Rep. Clyde's comments about the Capitol riot as false. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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