Trump claims U.S. Capitol rioters were 'zero threat'

In an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Thursday, former President Donald Trump defended the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to stop the certification of President Biden’s election victory, and grossly mischaracterized their actions that day. Despite one Capitol police officer dying as a result of the attack, and hundreds more officers sustaining injuries, some severe, Trump characterized it as a peaceful event.

“It was zero threat. Right from the start, it was zero threat,” Trump said. “Look, they went in, they shouldn't have done it. Some of them went in, and they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know, they had great relationships.”

Trump also lamented the fact that hundreds have been arrested for their part in the attack on the Capitol, with more arrests expected in the coming weeks.

“A lot of the people were waived in, and they walked in and they walked out,” Trump said, “and I'll tell you what, they are doing things to those — they’re persecuting a lot of those people, and some of them should be — some things should happen to them.”

Though it was Trump’s Department of Homeland Security that designated far-right extremists as the greatest terror threat to the United States, he derided the fact that the DHS under Biden is now considering making changes to fight domestic violent extremism.

“They go after people that, I guess you’d call them ‘lean toward the right,’ and they wave American flags,” Trump said, “in many cases, they are waving the American flag, and they love our country. And to those people, they’re arresting them by the dozens.”