Police officer repeatedly calls Jan. 6 rioters 'terrorists' 

Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges repeatedly referred to the Capitol rioters as “terrorists” while recounting his experience defending the Capitol on Jan. 6 during the select committee on the incident's first hearing on Tuesday.

Hodges, one of hundreds of police officers who defended the Capitol, was seen on video being crushed in a door during the riots. 

Hodges repeatedly used the word "terrorists" as he recounted making his way through a crowd with other officers and witnessing rioters climb the scaffolding. 

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He also described the flags he saw that day, saying it was “clear” the “terrorists” perceived themselves to be Christian, based on the Christian flags that he saw. 

But Hodges also said he was “confused” to see rioters carrying the "thin blue line" flag, which is a symbol of support for police.

“To my perpetual confusion, I saw the thin blue line flag, a symbol of support from law enforcement more than once being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our commands and continued to assault us,” he said.

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Hodges, asked later why he used the word "terrorists," read the federal code definition of terrorism, pointing to language about domestic terrorism and dangerous acts aimed at trying "to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion."

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinGOP seeks to keep spotlight on Afghanistan as Dems advance Biden's .5T spending plan Raskin writing memoir about Jan. 6, son's suicide House Democrats demand details after Border Patrol agents accused of profiling Latinos in Michigan MORE (D-Md.) pointed out during the hearing that Hodges referred to the rioters as "terrorists" 15 times. 

Asked about those who instead referred to the rioters as "tourists," Hodges responded, "If that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists."

Updated: 12:45 p.m.