Cheney asks police about Trump’s ‘loving crowd’ comment
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) took a shot at former President Trump’s role in stoking violence on Jan. 6 during a select panel’s first hearing, asking officers giving testimony to weigh in on his comments calling the rioters part of a “loving” crowd.
“When you think about that and share with us the vivid memory of the cruelty and the violence of the assault that day and then you hear former President Trump say quote ‘It was a loving crowd. There was a lot of love in the crowd,’ how does that make you feel?” Cheney asked U.S. Capitol Police Officer Aquilino Gonell, who has previously described the day’s events like a medieval battle.
“It’s upsetting. It’s a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create — this monstrosity. I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day,” he said.
Rep. Cheney: “You hear fmr. President Trump say, ‘It was a loving crowd, there was a lot of love in the crowd,’ how does that make you feel?”
Sgt. Gonell: “It’s upsetting, it’s a pathetic excuse of his behavior … I’m still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day.” pic.twitter.com/Icvc0ppaSo
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 27, 2021
Gonell is one of four officers who offered dramatic testimony about Jan. 6 to the select committee formed to investigate the day. It held its first hearing Tuesday.
“To me it’s insulting, it’s demoralizing because everything that we did was to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt and what he was doing — instead of sending the military, instead of sending support or telling his people, his supporters, to stop this nonsense — he egged them to continue fighting,” Gonell said.
Cheney is one of just two Republicans sitting on the committee, along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), after other Republicans boycotted participating in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejecting two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) original five picks.