Following his first post-presidency speech, former President Donald Trump described the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the deadly Capitol riot as "beautiful" a "love fest."
Trump spoke with Fox News on Sunday after delivering a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which he continued to falsely claim he won the 2020 presidential election. In the Fox interview, Trump was asked if there's anything he would have in retrospect done differently prior to a crowd of his supporters storming the Capitol building on Jan. 6, but the former president instead spoke favorably about the rally he delivered remarks at before the deadly riot.
"That rally was massive," Trump said. "...It was tremendous numbers of people. Not the Capitol, I'm talking about the rally itself. And it was a love fest. It was a beautiful thing."
Trump spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., on the day Congress was meeting to certify the election results, urging his supporters to march down to the Capitol building and "show strength" before a deadly riot ultimately occurred. The House of Representatives subsequently impeached Trump for "incitement of insurrection" for his actions surrounding the riot, though he was acquitted by the Senate. In reference to the violence that occurred at the Capitol following the rally, Trump told Fox he "hated to see" it.
Trump during his CPAC speech didn't back down from his false claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent, and "Republicans in Washington let out a collective groan," Politico writes, as this "puts them right back in the position of rebuking Trump or looking spineless." Brendan Morrow