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Trump Calls Capitol Rioters 'Great People'

On the same day he wins CPAC straw poll
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2021 2:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Former President Trump had a big day Sunday. From weighing in on the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 to speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), here's the latest on the former POTUS:

  • Of his supporters who rallied for him and then mobbed the Capitol building insisting he was the rightful winner of last year's presidential election, he told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo, "These were peaceful people, these were great people." He repeatedly used the word "love," per Politico, insisting that's why the would-be insurrectionists came to Washington, DC. "Too much spirit and faith and love, there was such love at that rally," he said. He also blamed House Democrats for any violence that did take place, saying they hadn't taken the potential for violence that day seriously.

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  • Trump and Bartiromo both implied there was some sort of cover-up around the death of Ashli Babbitt, the female veteran who was killed by law enforcement while storming the Capitol that day. "Who is the person that shot an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman, a military woman, right in the head?” Trump said. “There is no repercussion—that were on the other side, it would be the biggest story in this country. Who shot Ashli Babbitt? People want to know and why." He also referred to her as a hero.
  • Later Sunday, Trump easily won the CPAC straw poll, with 70% of attendees saying they'd vote for him if the 2024 Republican presidential primary were held today, the Hill reports. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second with 21%, but when Trump was taken out of the running, DeSantis got 68% of the vote.
  • Trump gave the headliner speech to close out CPAC on its final day Sunday; you can watch it at CSPAN. Per the New York Post, he slammed critical race theory, the media, Big Tech, and the current president. Per the Independent, he also continued to insist, inaccurately, that he won the 2020 election, and he touted his signature line, promising to "make America great again." He also said, per the Hill, that being impeached didn't have the impact his opponents probably wanted: "I didn't become different. I got impeached twice. I became worse. I became worse," he said.
  • Prior to the speech, Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., who also spoke at CPAC, said people would be "outraged" at what the former president had to say, Fox News reports. (More on Trump Jr.'s speech here.)
  • A seven-point plan to reinstate Trump as president was handed out to CPAC attendees by a group not affiliated with event organizers, Business Insider reports. See it here.
  • Some at CPAC cheered when it was mentioned that the US fell short of its COVID-19 vaccination target; per CNN, Anthony Fauci called that "horrifying."
  • Trump was also booed over the weekend, though Newsweek reports there were also "some cheers" Saturday night when Trump and wife Melania attended a UFC fight in Las Vegas.
(Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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