'Trump lives matter': Capitol rioter insists insurrection was 'peaceful' after FBI raids his home
Cliff Meteer speaking to news outlet WATE. (Screenshot)

A Capitol insurrectionist from Tennessee who was arrested this week subsequently claimed — falsely — in a TV interview that the Jan. 6 riot was "peaceful," that the building's "doors were open," and that police simply let people in.

As reporter Jordan Brown of Knoxville's ABC affiliate notes, "Cliff Meteer's account of the Jan. 6 insurrection is much different from the events that played out on live television that day."

"Everybody was peaceful," said the 66-year-old Meteer, who was charged after the FBI raided his north Knoxville home in response to tips from relatives and "old friends on Facebook," the station reported.

"Everybody was peaceful," Meteer repeated. "OK, first of all, the doors were open. Capitol police were standing right there letting people in. Inside the Capitol building it was a peaceful process. I never saw anything that constituted any kind of a riot."

According to the federal prosecutors, surveillance video showed Meteer parading through the Capitol for about 30 minutes on Jan. 6 carrying a two-sided sign with the words, "Stop the steal," and "Save the republic." He could also be seen standing atop a stone railing outside the Capitol.

Meteer later posted photos from the insurrection on Facebook and sent a message to a friend saying, "I was there. Storming the Bastille," referring to the violent battle that left 98 people dead in France in 1789.

He also wrote in Facebook posts: "No riot. Trump Lives Matter. I was right where our honored veteran was viciously assassinated," referring to deceased insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt. He added that he had been "very near" where Babbitt was shot.

"Dems protest by looting Walmart; (Republicans) protest by 'petitioning' congress," he wrote. "And their answer is a modern day Boston massacre. Murder case (i)n the capital building. Trump lives matter. The democrat stealing the election is the cause of loyal citizens storming the Bastille. That's Our house. They don't get to disregard our vote. I saw no violence. I saw no destruction. Are you surprised he media is distorting reality?"

Brown, the TV reporter, showed Meteer photos of him at the Capitol on her phone and asked, "Is this you?" He responded, "Sure looks like me. A striking resemblance."

Meteer told the station: "We weren't being afforded out natural rights. We weren't being afforded the right to present our case in front of a court of law with a jury of our peers to determine whether or not our suspicions were correct or wrong. You know, our rights were stolen from us. ... I was there for myself, my own reasons, you know, there was no coordination. with anybody or anything. It's just my obligations as an American citizen to protest what I see as a great wrong being done on the people of the United States."

Meteer's girlfriend also spoke to the station, recounting how "a bunch of FBI guys" showed up at their house.

"I'm looking around saying, 'Oh my God, this is all because he was in the Capitol on Jan. 6.' It was a protest and it got a little out of hand, OK? But to actually find all these people on Facebook and whatever. To then come to your house, and raid like I'm some kind of mass murderer or something, this is insanity."

Meteer is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, entering and remaining on the floor of Congress, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

He was released Tuesday pending a hearing later this month in Washington.

Watch the interview below.