Since former President Donald Trump's rhetoric on alleged electoral fraud sparked the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has emerged as a voice for the far-right conservatives who believe the election was stolen.
Although his popularity has soared among Trump supporters, there are many lawmakers and voters on both sides of the aisle who have condemned his actions and are calling for his resignation.
But despite the backlash he is facing, during a recent interview with KY3 News, Hawley claims he has "tremendous" support in his home state. "I'd say the support from Missouri has been tremendous," Hawley told KY3. "And you see that borne out in poll numbers, and also in our fundraising numbers. And this is not something that we've looked for or expected."
He added, "But we've had tremendous support—thousands and thousands of new donors, almost all of them very small donors from across the state, but also tremendous support from folks who had been with us in the past."
Hawley went on to dismiss the stark criticism he's faced from other Republican lawmakers as he described his approval rating since the Capitol riot. "My approval numbers are strong," Hawley added. "I think the numbers indicate that I'm reflecting the views of my constituents, people appreciate someone who's willing to take a stand and to not bow down to a left-wing mob."
The Republican lawmaker even defended his decision to challenge the Electoral College certification but condemned the violence that ensued as a result of his and other Republican lawmakers' actions.
"I don't care where it happens, whether it's the United States Capitol or whether it's in our cities, whether it's federal courthouses," Hawley said. "If you break the law, you riot, you attack cops, you burn buildings, you loot — you're going to prison, period. I don't care why you did it. I don't want to hear the justifications for it. If you are a criminal, rioter, looter, vandal, you're going to prison."
Hawley's remarks come less than one month after a riot erupted on Capitol Hill in an effort to hinder the Electoral College certification that affirmed President Joe Biden's victory. A total of five individuals died during the unrest and now, the U.S. Department of Justice has arrested more than 160 individuals in connection with the deadly riots. The FBI and Justice Department's investigations into the Capitol riots will be ongoing.