During the House select committee’s hearings on Thursday, the panel showcased surveillance video of Senator Josh Hawley running down a Capitol hall as rioters stormed the venue on January 6. As the committee showed the footage, laughter erupted in the hearing room. A swarm of memes mocking the Republican senator was unleashed online as well.
Rep. Elaine Luria shared the footage during the second hour of the committee hearing. She described how Josh Hawley ignited the protestors to storm the building by raising his fist in solidarity with Donald Trump. Luria said:
“Earlier that afternoon, before the joint session started, Hawley walked across the east front of the Capitol. As you can see in this photo, he raised his fist in solidarity with the protesters already massing at the security gates. We spoke with a Capitol Police officer that was out there at the time. She told us that Senator Hawley’s gesture riled up the crowd. And it bothered her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space, protected by the officers in the barriers. Later that day, Senator Hawley fled after those protesters he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol. See for yourself.”
Hawley can be seen running down the hall as rioters stormed the building in the now-viral footage. He was also seen briskly walking out of the building alongside other lawmakers after they were evacuated from a joint session of Congress which was held following Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory.
Netizens react to video of Josh Hawley running out of the Capitol
Internet users relentlessly mocked the senator for sprinting out of the building despite seemingly supporting the rioters. A plethora of memes and jokes appeared online.
A few hilarious tweets read:
Both parties criticized Josh Hawley for his January 6 actions. He was also disowned by former Missouri Senator John Danforth, Hawley’s mentor. Danforth called supporting the 42-year-old “the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.”
In response to the flack he received for siding with the rioters, Hawley said in a statement to The Washington Post, a few months after the Capitol storming:
“I waved to them, gave them the thumbs-up, pumped my first to them and thanked them for being there, and they had every right to do that. I don’t know which of those protesters, if any of them, those demonstrators, participated in the criminal riot. And I think it’s a slur on the thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of people who came to the Capitol that day to demonstrate peacefully to lump them in with the criminal rioters and say, ‘Oh, you’re all basically the same.’”
During the committee’s hearings on Thursday, it was discovered that in a speech delivered on January 7, Trump refused to state that the election was over. A former White House employee also revealed that Trump refused to call for peace following the riots until his daughter Ivanka Trump convinced him to. A witness also claimed that Trump got into a “heating exchange” with his security detail.
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