Former President Donald Trump appeared on Fox News on Sunday to defend his response to the deadly rioting by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and called the rally where he incited the violent attack “a beautiful thing”
During the interview, Trump touted the crowd size at the rally, during which he made false claims about the election and urged his supporters to march to the US Capitol, telling them they “have to show strength.”
“That rally was massive. I mean, the press doesn’t like to talk about it, but the real number was much, much bigger in terms of the people that were at the location,” he told Steve Hilton on Fox News. “It was tremendous numbers of people, he insisted before calling it “a lovefest” and “a beautiful thing.”
During the rally near the White House, Trump falsely claimed that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and stolen from him, and urged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill, telling them they “have to show strength.”
Rioters then breached police lines and stormed the Capitol as Congress was convened to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. They scaled walls, smashed windows and laid siege on the building — forcing lawmakers to evacuate.
The riot results in five deaths, and two Capitol police officers later died by suicide.
Trump also told Fox News that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others are to blame for what he called a lack of security.
But lawmakers from both parties blamed the attack on Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the 2020 election, including at the rally. Long before the rally, Trump had continuously made unfounded claims about election fraud and attempted to overturn the results.