On CNN Wednesday, former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa suggested that former President Donald Trump deliberately held back the National Guard in the early stages of the Capitol riot in order to serve his political narrative.
"Is that even in the realm of possibility that optics could be a reason?" asked anchor Brooke Baldwin.
"I think with the prior administration, it absolutely could have been in the realm of possibly, and that's a problem," said Rangappa. "So let just go back to what we mean by optics. The narrative that was pushed by the former president was that the existential threat to the republic was antifa as manifested in these Black Lives Matter protests, and which warranted this heavy military and law enforcement presence which we saw in D.C. and elsewhere. So when they are concerned about optics, what I think they are suggesting is that they did not want a similar presence for the people who were coming to the Capitol in support of the president, because what would that say? That would suggest that they are as dangerous as the other threat that they have been hyping up for some time."
"So optics, to me, means is that he were deliberately mitigating the threat and the perception of the threat, I think, in service of this greater narrative of where the danger really is," added Rangappa.