On CNN Thursday, fact-checker John Avlon tore into the pro-Trump rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol — and the Republicans who fanned the flames of conspiracy theory that drove them to do it.
"Our country's far more divided, violent, and deranged since before [Trump] took office. But this is what happens when hyperpartisans indulge lies, corruptions, and conspiracy theories for political gain," said Avlon. "They can't say they didn't see this coming. Trump's rhetoric already led to death threats against honest election officials across the country. And the 138 Republican House members and seven senators, including Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, are also culpable for this violence, because they stoked its fears without any facts."
"These attackers were not contained or confronted or even arrested in large numbers," added Avlon. "If they'd been Black or left-wing or Muslim, the calls for violent retribution by the president and his allies would have been deafening. Instead, the mask has come off. The calls for 'law and order' were really about race. The calls for respecting democratic traditions apparently only mattered when elections were won by Republicans."