Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz from Florida has delivered passionate speech to the US Congress following a violent storming of the Capitol Building, claiming that some of the rioters involved in the protest were from Antifa, and pretending to be Trump devotees.
Gaetz, 38, cited a Wednesday report from The Washington Times, which quoted a “retired military officer” claiming that XRVision facial recognition equipment had identified two men seen inside the Senate as Antifa members previously spotted at Philadelphia protests.
“I don’t know if the reports are true, but The Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company showing that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact were members of the violent terrorist group Antifa,” Gaetz maintained.
If you want a working, live example of denial, I offer up this video from last night of Matt Gaetz, who was delusional about what had happened and unwilling to accept his role in any of it.— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 7, 2021
Also, using the death of Tommy Raskin is low, even for him. pic.twitter.com/2nhCW6SFIN
His comments have caused a clamour in the House chamber but many congressmen were also heard cheering the representative’s speech, as he urged to “seek to build America up, not tear her down and destroy her.”
“I was just glad that for at least one day I did not hear my Democrat colleagues calling to defund the police,” the man, who is a devoted Trump supporter, added.
The Washignton Times’ report has now been heavily scrutinised by the media over the authenticity of the claims, while the #AntifaCapitalAssault hashtag has been making rounds on Twitter.
President Trump has been suspended from the platform, and some of his tweets deleted. Meanwhile, his supporters continued disputing the main narrative that it was the MAGA crowd that infiltrated America’s legislature building on 6 January. To others, claims like that have appeared to be too fishy to take them seriously.
Has Matt Gaetz or any other Republicans bothered to explain why antifa would want to storm the Capitol and disrupt the certification of Trump’s defeat? Or are they just too lazy to even invent a reason?— Kaili Joy Gray (@KailiJoy) January 7, 2021
No @mattgaetz, you drunk bobblehead: Antifa did not inflilrate the MAGA terrorists today to storm the capitol. If antifa had infiltrated they would have used their proximity to the QBalls and Trumpkins to burn their confederate flags and beat that guy in the Camp Auschwitz shirt— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) January 7, 2021
Some conspiracy theorists meanwhile alleged that the bloody event that saw at least three people dead was staged by President-elect Joe Biden or Trump opponents to discredit the president, who has been refusing to admit his defeat.
Trump told the Washington crowd just outside the White House on Wednesday that he was “never” going to concede election to Biden.
As the violence has erupted, he however called upon the demonstrators to remain peaceful.
Following the storming, many Congress members have walked back from their early pledges to oppose 3 November vote certification. Others have started publicly debating whether Vice President Mike Pence should trigger the 25th Amendment to oust the incumbent president from the office.