Donald Trump loves, appreciates, and adores the people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on his behalf, and he’d do anything for them — or at least, that’s the message he’s packaged up to sell to them.
It’s not exactly the message his actions send, though.
Since Trump left office, a few of his fans, especially those imprisoned for roles in January 6th and those close to the defendants, have been miffed that he didn’t offer pardons before being booted out of the White House.
Jacob Chansley, for example, pled for a pardon in the last days of Trump’s term, and was sorely disappointed not to receive it.
Now that Trump’s running again, he’s floated the possibility of pardoning everyone convicted in the attack, and there are some starry-eyed hopefuls in the MAGA movement who believe him.
He’s even making headlines for buttering these folks up, most recently when he ran into Micki Larson-Olson at a campaign event, signing a backpack she carried when she resisted efforts of police to clear the Capitol grounds, and handing over his marker as a bonus memento.
Larson-Olson is, to all appearances, utterly tickled that the president of her heart told her to “hang in there” and assured her she and others will “be okay,” but was he really making any promises?
After all, when asked in an interview about the attack and the potential for future violence, he simply disavowed it, taking neither credit nor blame, and certainly not promising any protections for the active participants. Instead, he said:
“Well, it wasn’t my fault. A lot of people thought the election was rigged and stolen, a lot of people still feel that, as you know.”
The word ‘fault’ is carrying a hefty load here — first, it implies that he recognizes the attack was a negative thing, despite the many times he’s boasted about the crowd size, and the fact that he showed no signs of disavowing it while it was ongoing and he could hold out hope that it would be successful.
Further, it puts that blame squarely on the shoulders of the folks who believed him when he said (lied) the election was stolen, rather than on himself and his allies for spreading that propaganda.
That’s a sharp contrast to his comments to Larson-Olson, who he told, “You’ve been through too much,” according to the Washington Post, after she drove 30 hours to see him.
It’s part of a pattern.
Trump happily takes in stride the sacrifices his fans make for him, whether it’s struggling to make ends meet while donating to support him (willingly or otherwise), spending all their time driving to fulfill his never-ending ego needs, or going to prison for him.
If they expect him to reciprocate, though, they’re out of luck.
Watch him disavow the January 6th attack below — does this sound like a man who’s planning to give pardons if re-elected, much less offer any kind of support to the families?
Q: "A lot of [voters] are still upset about what happened on Jan. 6, 2021. To what extent can you provide assurances that something like that never happens again?"
Trump: "It wasn't my fault. A lot of people thought the election was rigged and stolen." pic.twitter.com/MJQMuBhn3P
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) April 28, 2023