Capitol Rioter Says He Wouldn’t Have Stormed the Capitol if Trump Didn’t Tell Him To Do So

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Another alleged Capitol rioter appeared on CNN to apologize for his action, and like others before him, blame former President Donald Trump for encouraging him and others to attack the Capitol, The Independent reports.

In an appearance on CNN last Friday, a seemingly repentant Anthony Antonio apologized for his role in the deadly attempted coup and said Trump’s words encouraged him to travel to Washington, D.C., and take part in the riots. Trump, he said, had wanted the event to be “big” and “wild.”

“The President of the United States — who at the time he was still the President of the United States — calls all of us to D.C.,” Antonio said. “Let’s go check it out. Let’s go see why he’s calling us to D.C.”

Antonio also apologized to the Capitol Police officer he allegedly assaulted that day and then shifted the blame from himself to the former president.

“He called people to Washington, D.C. that day,” Antonio said. “He said, ‘March down to the Capitol.’ I personally would not have marched down to Pennsylvania Avenue and walked to the Capitol, on the grass of the Capitol… .I told you where I was supposed to go. I was supposed to go to Freedom Plaza, that was my plan … if [Mr. Trump] didn’t say ‘go down to the Capitol’ I wouldn’t have gone down to the Capitol.”

In the days following the riot, 465 people have been arrested for attacking the Capitol and that number is almost certainly going to increase as the Department of Justice continues to gather more evidence, leading the agency to describe the investigation as the most complex one it has ever conducted. The agency also notes at least 50 of the rioters have served in the military or have a military background, and there are also hundreds of indictments to be brought against individual rioters.

Investigators are also focusing on the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and Three Percenter gangs, hoping to build a strong conspiracy case for the groups’ coordinated attacks on Capitol Police.

While Trump really does deserve a large part of the blame for this tragedy, it’s become commonplace for other alleged insurgents to lay additional blame on him.

Chief among them is the buffalo-horned “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley. His defense lawyer, Albert Watkins, spurred outrage and condemnation after he said his client and other accused rioters “had brain damage” and were “f***ing short-bus people.”

Right about then, Watkins trotted out the blame game, saying that the rioters weren’t “bad people,” they were instead brainwashed by Trump’s propaganda, which he compared to that used by Hitler.

But what’s also clear here is that not a single one of those involved used any sort of critical thinking. They just plunged ahead, no questions asked, the former president’s words ringing in the echo chambers where their minds should be.

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