Even as officials talk up threats associated with Saturday’s rally on behalf of those jailed after the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion, former President Donald Trump has encouraged his supporters not to attend.
“On Saturday, that’s a setup,” Trump said in an interview with the Federalist.
“If people don’t show up they’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of spirit.’ And if people do show up they’ll be harassed,” he said.
Trump’s comments on the rally were a far cry from his support for those facing persecution for their roles in the protests that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which resulted in the disruption of the counting of Electoral College votes.
“People are so disgusted with the way people are being treated from the Jan. 6 situation. It’s a combination of that compared to how Antifa and BLM were treated. When you compare the treatment, it is so unjust, it is so unfair. It’s disgraceful,” he said.
On Thursday, Trump issued a statement addressed to those who have been arrested for their roles in the incursion.
“Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election. In addition to everything else, it has proven conclusively that we are a two-tiered system of justice. In the end, however, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!” he said in the statement on his website.
— Jeffrey Levin (@jilevin) September 18, 2021
The Biden administration prepared for the rally by fencing off the Capitol and adding unarmed National Guard troops to Capitol police who will guard Capitol Hill, according to The New York Times.
“We are aware of a small number of recent online threats of violence referencing the planned rally, including online discussions encouraging violence the day before the rally,” Department of Homeland Security intelligence officers wrote in an assessment, the Times reported.
No violence has been reported in connection with the rally, and several Republicans are taking Trump’s advice to stay away.
Further, the security document obtained by the outlet said there was no “specific or credible plot associated with the event.”
The Guardian noted that what it called far-right groups, such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, have distanced themselves from the event.
We wrote a letter. They ignored us.
We went to the DOJ. They ignored us.
We went to the prison. They ignored us.
We went to the UN. They ignored us.
— Matt Braynard (@MattBraynard) September 12, 2021
The “Justice for J6” rally is being organized by Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign aide, through the group Look Ahead America.
The rally’s permit expects about 700 people to participate.
In his interview with the Federalist, Trump speculated over who was actually calling the shots in President Joe Biden’s White House.
“It could be Biden’s staff. It could be Obama. It could be Obama’s people. Maybe a combination of both,” Trump said. “I see the microphones being turned off every time Biden speaks. Yesterday was crazy. He was in the middle of a sentence and they turned off the microphone and dimmed the lights. It was weird.”
“When you see that, something’s going on,” Trump said.
Trump noted that the establishment media protects Biden, who is also able to rely upon a party unity that has eluded Republicans.
“The Democrats have become radicalized, and the Republicans don’t have good leadership because they don’t fight as hard. The Republicans, the leadership, should have fought harder for the presidential election,” he said.