The leader of the Proud Boys militia group claims he would have stopped the violence during the Capitol insurrection if he hadn't been arrested two days before for burning a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a historic Black church.
Enrique Tarrio was released from jail last month after serving about four months behind bars for burning the BLM banner stolen from Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, DC, in December 2020. He was arrested on Jan. 4, 2021, and reportedly watched the Capitol insurrection from a Maryland hotel room.
In his first sit-down media interview since being released, Tarrio told Miami's Channel 6 that "if he wasn’t arrested, he would have been at the Capitol that day and that he would have stopped the Proud Boys from participating in any violence," the station reported.
“I don’t agree with or condone what happened at the Capitol when it comes to the violence,” Tarrio said. “We went to Washington D.C. with the intent of sitting there and supporting President Trump and then drink beer after, and obviously, I wasn’t there and I can’t tell you what was in their heads, but I think the mob mentality just took over.”
Tarrio added that the insurrection was "a step back for the MAGA movement" and the GOP.
He also referred to the Proud Boys as "a bunch of drunks" and "not the most intelligent people in the world," but said he has no plans to leave the group.
"I'm a Proud Boy for life," he said. “Love them or hate them, the Proud Boys aren’t going anywhere. We’re here to stay."
Watch the interview below.