Jun 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Former GOP congressman: Jan. 6 was an "attempted coup" by Trump

Former Republican Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he views the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as an attempted coup by former President Trump.

The big picture: Riggleman said people around Trump had an "awareness" of what they were doing when they repeated "propaganda" and "conspiracy theories" that preceded the riot and mainlined "insanity into people's heads."

Riggleman, a former adviser to the select panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot, said he no longer considers himself a Republican. "I think the party left me some time ago," he said.

  • "What I've seen behind the scenes has pushed me further away," he said, adding that the party has "moved away from conservative principles" to a cult of personality around Trump.

What they're saying: "When you see it behind the door, when you see the data, when you see the investigation ... it's absolutely stunning, that cult of personality but also the belief systems that I don't think any real conservative could follow at any point," Riggleman said.

  • "It's absolutely insane what people have sort of put their arms around. If you look at 'Stop the Steal,' if you look at, you know, some of the COVID issues, with the vaccination conspiracy theories.
  • "When you look at all the things in total, the fact is that a lot of that has been pushed by people around the president," he said, referring to Trump.

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