The riot at the United States Capitol building last month was built upon the lie that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, only to have it "stolen" from him by President Joe Biden.
The New York Times has pieced together a massive 38-minute video showing how Trump relentlessly and repeatedly lied to his supporters about the 2020 election.
The Times notes how important Trump's constant repetition of certain lies was, as Trump supporters repeated his false claims, often verbatim, during the January 6th MAGA riots at the Capitol.
"In hundreds of public statements from Nov. 4, 2020, to Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Trump repeatedly used phrases like 'we won the election' and 'won it by a landslide,' and he said that the election was 'rigged' and 'stolen' by the Democrats," writes the Times. "Mr. Trump's language later signaled to his supporters that they needed to 'fight' because 'you'll never take back our country with weakness.'"
Trump this week is on trial in the Senate on charges that he incited an insurrection, and Yale historian Timothy Snyder tells the Times that the former president's behavior is consistent with how other authoritarian regimes incite their supporters to attack opponents.
""You're not usually going to find a leader telling you exactly what to do," noted Snyder, who said authoritarian leaders typically issued "vague directives" that leave it up to followers to fill in the blanks.