Josh Hawley busted for 'ridiculous' claim he never encouraged Capitol rioters

Reacting to an interview Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) gave where he denied waving to the Jan 6th insurgents who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6th, the HuffPost did a fact check on the controversial senator who was contesting the 2020 presidential election results on that day.

On Tuesday, during an interview with the Washington Post, the Missouri Republican disputed accusations he raised a fist in support of the "Stop the Steal" rallygoers who swarmed the halls of Congress,

According to Hawley, "I don't know which of those protesters, if any of them, those demonstrators, participated in the criminal riot."

According to the HuffPost's Arthur Delaney and Ryan Reilly, Hawley's defense is "ridiculous."

"Photos and videos from that day show that many people on the east side of the Capitol were eager participants in the day's events. HuffPost, working with members of the Sedition Hunters community and the group Capitol Terrorists Exposers, endeavored to help Hawley resolve the question of whether he'd saluted rioters on Jan. 6. The conclusion? He did," they wrote.

"Most of the fighting and violence happened on the west side of the Capitol, but protesters on the east side, where Hawley raised his fist, also fought police. Roughly an hour after Hawley's appearance, at the same location, violent rioters pushed past the barricades and a massive crowd flooded toward the building's center steps, as seen in the video below. Few stayed behind," their report continued.

According to the photos taken by the same photographer who caught Hawley's now-famous raised fist, he was likely saluting participants in the siege.

As the HuffPost notes, "The photo shows a man in a black hoodie yelling into a bullhorn and a woman in a red jacket resting her arms on the barricade. The picture was taken shortly before Hawley arrived on the plaza. All cool and legal. But here's the man in the hoodie in another photo, taken roughly an hour later, in roughly the same location, right after the crowd fought police to get past the barricades," before adding that a woman who also was in the crowd was later seen with "the mob on the steps."

The report goes on to note that Hawley earlier this week also said that people at the protest that turned into a riot were overwhelmingly peaceful by telling reporters, "All last summer we heard over and over it's important to distinguish between the peaceful protesters at the BLM protests and the rioters. I agreed with that then. I said that then. I think the same is true of those on January 6."

You can read more here.