Donald Trump's allies are working overtime to come up with a range of defenses that shield him from responsibility for the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. According to The Daily Beast, one line of defense being floated by pro-Trump cable networks is the notion that it was impossible for the first wave of rioters to hear Trump's speech on the White House Ellipse in person because they started storming the Capitol before he was finished speaking.
It's a claim that completely ignores the reality of cellphones that can livestream events as they happen.
"Despite the fact that internet-connected phones have existed for nearly two decades, the theory that only people who saw Trump speak in person could have been incited by his remarks has proved to be a hit in right-wing media," writes the Daily Beast's Will Sommer. "Tweets obsessing over the timeline of the riot, which started shortly before Trump finished speaking, have gone viral in an attempt to prove that Trump couldn't have been involved in a riot that he promoted and was carried out by his supporters."
Sommer writes that a Daily Beast reporter witnessed people listening to Trump's speech on a speaker, proving that protesters could have listened to his words as they moved on the Capitol.
Still, pro-Trump outlets are trying to get their viewers to believe that Trump's speech on Jan. 6 and the riot were two completely disconnected events.
"Despite whatever airs on Newsmax or OAN, the alleged rioters themselves have identified Trump as their inspiration," writes Sommer. "Jacob Chansley, the 'Q Shaman' pictured breaking into the Capitol in horns and animal skins, told the FBI that he came to Washington at Trump's request."
Read his full analysis over at the Daily Beast.