Mo Brooks defends role in Jan. 6 attack: At least there weren't '20 or 30 Al-Qaeda suicidal types'
C-SPAN/screen grab

A Republican congressman who gave a pep talk to Capitol Hill attackers on Jan. 6 now claims that the attack could have been worse if there had been "20 or 30 Al-Qaeda suicidal types."

"Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass," Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told soon-to-be insurrectionists in his Jan. 6 speech.

On Wednesday, Brooks appeared on C-SPAN to opine on the "ultimate cause" of the attack.

"Let's not rush to judgement," Brooks said. "To date, it looks like the evidence is pretty strong that there were militant elements from different groups like Proud Boys, perhaps Boogaloo Boys, perhaps Oath Keepers -- go down your list -- that used the Trump rally as a means, a subterfuge for attacking the United States Capitol."

"It looks like it was planned well in advance," he continued. "It's pretty clear that the Ellipse speeches, quite frankly, had nothing to do with the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6th in as much as the kind of planning that was initiated by this attack on the Capitol began many days and even weeks before the Ellipse speeches."

C-SPAN host Pedro Echevarria asked Brooks if he agreed with FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony that white supremacists were involved in the attack but members of Antifa were not.

"The question was trying to get into this white supremacy kind of thing," Brooks said. "From what I understand, out of a couple of hundred arrests so far, less than 5% have been identified as white supremacists, which means 95% or so were not."

The Alabama lawmaker advised that white supremacy "should be frowned upon."

Brooks agreed that Antifa did not have a "significant presence" but said that there was at least "one individual" who said he was associated with the group.

He said the activist had "participated in Black Lives Matter protests -- whatever you want to call them -- fascist Antifa."

But Brooks also admitted that the individual in question had been "rejected" by Black Lives Matter and Antifa.

"One on that side is heavily outweighed by roughly 200 on the other side," he remarked. "And so I would agree with Wray that the Black Lives Matter and the Antifa presence to date seems to be relatively insignificant, certainly much less significant than I thought."

Brooks also defended his participation in the rally that culminated in the Jan. 6 attack.

"That's a different event from what happened at the United States Capitol," he remarked. "And I'm pleased that the rally at the Ellipse... that it was peaceful in all respects as far as I know."

Brooks went on to downplay the threat from the attackers, noting that none of the people who breached the Capitol were found to have firearms.

"But if you had 20 or 30 al-Qaeda suicidal types in there, it could have been a horrible scene," he added.

Watch the video below from C-SPAN.