Nashville TN (TN Tribune)–Williamson County GOP Chair Cheryl Brown said she is convinced anti-fascist activists, sometimes referred to as “antifa,” were behind the break-in at the U.S. Capitol, according to reports.
“If you look at the people, they were not Trump supporters. No,” Brown told the Williamson Herald. “The picture looks staged.”
Numerous photos and videos have surfaced of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, disrupting legislative procedures and causing chaos that resulted in five deaths. Many people who were at a Trump rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol were photographed inside the Capitol wearing Trump-related clothing.
Brown told her county’s newspaper she could tell by the way some of the people who stormed the Capitol were dressed that “they were not patriotic protestors.”
“The guy that had on the lion thing — he was not around us. They were not with us,” Brown told the Williamson Herald. “The difference between the Trump supporters and those who were in the Capitol were not dressed like that. … We don’t cross-dress. We dress the way we — our patriot style, which is what we dress for America.”
The shirtless man wearing a horned fur cap and face paint — the person to whom Brown was referring — has been identified as Jacob Anthony Chansley, a.k.a. Jake Angeli, of Arizona. Angeli is a known follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory nicknamed “Q Shaman,” who has appeared at multiple pro-Trump protests in Phoenix, Arizona, according to the Arizona Republic.
Angeli was arrested Saturday and charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a Department of Justice Department statement.
At least one of the Capitol rioters was from Middle Tennessee. Eric Munchel of Nashville, who participated in the pro-Trump rally, has been identified as the man carrying plastic hand restraints in the U.S. Senate during the Capitol riot.
Munchel, 30, faces charges including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Brown’s comments denying it was Trump supporters who were behind the attack on the Capitol come as Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Lee acknowledged publicly for the first time Friday that Joe Biden will be the next U.S. president.
Lee was among many Republicans nationwide who refused to acknowledge Biden’s win as President Donald Trump continuously repeated unfounded claims of election fraud.
The state’s Republican U.S. senators, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, had sided with Trump in saying they would vote against the certification of Biden’s win, claiming the results were “tainted.” After seeing chaos unfold around them in the Capitol, they were among a group of Republicans who flipped and voted to certify –though neither one explained why at the time.