Sept. 18th MAGA ralliers will be the ‘most hardened’ and in ‘complete alternative reality’: Former FBI agent
Pro-Trump protesters seen inside Capitol building as they enter in through broken windows. (lev radin /

Supporters of former President Donald Trump who are attending a September 18th rally supporting those charged for the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol will be among the "most hardened" members of the MAGA movement, a former FBI special agent and terrorism expert warned on MSNBC on Friday.

Clint Watts was interviewed by MSNBC's Joy Reid about the upcoming rally that is expected to feature members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

"How worried are you about the September 18th event?" Reid asked.

"It's hard to tell right now, Joy," Watts replied. "I think next week is when we'll know how serious it is. But I can tell you this, since January 6th, there hasn't been a rally generated this much noise in the social media space for a lot of these groups until September 18th. That's the first one and gotten a lot of attention."

Watts added some caveats by saying that some hardcore MAGA fans might avoid the rally for fear that it's a "false flag" operation.

"What I don't know, though, is how serious people will be," he said. "And some of these channels that you may watch on social media now, you have many antagonists saying, 'Don't be so stupid to go to D.C., you know they are ready this time.' Sort of speaking to the truth that hey, we have a lot stronger law enforcement presence now, there are a lot of FBI investigations going on with coconspirators."

A revised permit for the "Justice for J6" rally expects that 700 people will attend.

"So the ones who do show up, those are the supporters, they are the ones who'll believe anything," Watts warned. "They will go into a complete alternative reality and pursue it no matter what the truth ultimately is."


Clint Watts