Hawley defends Jan. 6 merch: ‘It is not a pro-riot mug’

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is defending merchandise that his campaign is selling that depicts his now-infamous Jan. 6, 2021 raised fist to the pro-Trump mob that went on to ransack the Capitol.

Hawley’s campaign is selling a $20 mug that shows a black and white graphic of Hawley with his fist raised outside the Capitol and with the words “Josh Hawley” and “SHOW-ME STRONG!” in red- and blue-colored letters. In an interview with HuffPost published Tuesday, he insisted he was not supporting the attack that took place that day.

“It is not a pro-riot mug,” Hawley said, adding that he was not encouraging those who participated in the riot.

The senator pointed out to HuffPost that rioting at Capitol had not yet taken place when he made the gesture, and that he does not tolerate violence against law enforcement.

“At the time that we were out there, folks were gathered peacefully to protest, and they have a right to do that,” the Missouri Republican said. “They do not have a right to assault cops.”

Hawley was among a group of Republicans who supported challenges to the certification of votes following now-President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. He supported challenges specifically for Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Hawley has previously defended his clenched fist at the Capitol that day, saying last year it is a “slur” to conflate the rioters who ransacked the Capitol with those who were demonstrating.

He echoed a similar sentiment while speaking to HuffPost.

“They’ve been treated as if, if you were here, if you were in Washington, if you went to the Capitol, ‘You’re a thug. You’re a criminal.’ I disagree with that really strongly,” he said.

The Hill has reached out to Hawley’s campaign for comment. 

Tags Capitol breach Capitol insurrection Capitol riot Donald Trump Fist bump Jan. 6 Capitol attack Jan. 6 capitol riot jan. 6 riot Joe Biden Josh Hawley
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