Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida set the record straight on Wednesday during a fiery speech on the House floor.
Only hours prior, a large coalition of pro-Trump protesters-turned-rioters stormed the Capitol building in a violent frenzy that ended with four deaths, including the shooting death of one woman.
Much to the chagrin of his Democratic colleagues, Gaetz pointed out several inconvenient facts about the rioting, including the hypocritical left-wing response to the Capitol incursion when contrasted with the left’s tacit approval of rioters at Black Lives Matter protests throughout 2020.
“I am sure glad that at least for one day, I didn’t hear my Democrat colleagues calling to defund the police,” Gaetz said.
“Now I appreciate all the talk of coming together, but let us not pretend that our colleagues on the left have been free of some anti-Democratic impulses just because we signed on to legal briefs and asked courts to resolve disputes.”
Gaetz also pointed out how his liberal colleagues’ response to Republican concerns over election integrity have been utterly unwarranted.
“Now we came here today to debate, to follow regular order to, to offer an objection, to follow a process that is expressly contemplated in our Constitution. And for doing that, we got called a bunch of seditious traitors,” Gaetz said.
“Not since 1985 has a Republican president been sworn in, absent some Democrat effort to object to the electors, but when we do it, it is ‘the new violation of all norms,’ and when those things are said people get angry.”
Additionally, Gaetz was met by a series of groans when he pointed out how President Trump had explicitly asked protesters to be peaceful, unlike the leaders in the BLM organization and Antifa when it came to the many riots committed by their own followers.
“Another important point for the country is that this morning President Trump explicitly called for demonstrations and protests to be peaceful,” Gaetz said.
“You can moan and groan, but he was far more explicit about his calls for peace than some of the BLM and left-wing rioters were this summer when we saw violence sweep across this nation.”
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Additionally, the president put out a series of tweets calling for peace.
It should be noted that the president’s plea to the rioters was far from perfect and included him sharing his oft-repeated claim that “we had an election stolen from us” without any substantial evidence of widespread, election-altering voter fraud.
Perhaps the worst tweet put out by Trump following the violent events seemed to be making excuses for the rioters by saying “these are the things and events that happen” when an “election victory” is “stripped away.”
Despite those missteps, it is undeniably true that Trump called for peace in multiple statements and actively attempted to deescalate the situation by sending in the National Guard.
Gaetz also pointed to a report from The Washington Times alleging two members of Antifa may have been present in the riot, though he prefaced that by saying he did not “know if the reports are true.”
This is not to say Antifa orchestrated the event. As of yet, there is little evidence to support such claims and it appears that the vast majority of culprits were, in fact, supporters of the president.
That all being said, an overwhelming majority of right-wing voices have come out in condemnation of the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol yesterday.
If only Democratic leaders could be equally stern with their own radicals.