Far-right groups that falsely claim the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump have blamed antifa and Democrats, claimed that the attack was totally peaceful and that police let insurrectionists inside (as though this removes blame even for the assaults and property damage, aside from the trespassing), and otherwise tried to deflect. Now, as arrested suspects start to inform on one another, there’s a new tactic emerging: blame the other far-right group.
Ali Alexander, founder of Stop the Steal — take a second to parse that name, which literally calls on supporters to take action to prevent the alleged ‘theft’ of the election — is now posting on Telegram to insist that it wasn’t his group, but Women for America First, another far-right Trump-aligned organization, that caused all the problems.
Some of the claims are contradictory enough to require a little cognitive dissonance, but let’s look at what Alexander is claiming.
Here’s a post on Alexander’s Telegram.
The claims in this post:
1. Women for America First is a “fake” America First group. (Strangely, this group later held an event on Trump property that Matt Gaetz and others attended.)
2. Women for America First ‘betrayed Trump’ (who, as mentioned, later hosted another event for them) and was the cause of violence.
This post also links to a Gateway Pundit piece by Roger Stone associate Kristen Davis. Here, Davis makes a similar set of claims, declaring that the Women for America First group set Stone up, and that he’s being falsely accused of knowing an attack was going to take place. She says that Women for America First was supposed to send Stone an escort that morning, so he could speak at the peaceful rally, but that the escort never showed up, so he stayed at his hotel.
Claims in this piece:
1. Dishonest Democrats are trying to suggest Stone was involved in the planning of the attack.
2. Women for America First helped set him up by using his name as a speaker.
3. No one ever showed up to escort Stone to the event, though he was supposed to speak.
Now, this third one is a particularly interesting claim, because in June, we covered Stone himself telling a different story.
“I never even left the grounds of the Willard Hotel. I came out in front of the hotel in the moring for a brief period to stretch my legs. You can watch the entire video. A number of patriots come up and ask for selfies…but no, I was not even on the Capitol. I do find it odd that shortly after the President’s speech, the Secret Service contacted someone who worked for me by phone and told me that they wanted to escort me to the Capitol. I declined…I’m sorry, I declined, I was with Pastor Mark Burns and Reverend Randy Coggins in my suite, watching the whole thing unfold on television.”
Claims in that statement:
1. Stone was contacted to be escorted to the events.
2. He seems to suggest he already had plans that involved not attending.
So, which is true? Did Roger Stone plan to spend Insurrection Day in his hotel suite with friends, or did he intend to attend? Was an escort offered, or no?
Now here’s part 2 from Ali, who is still talking about the article by Davis, and claims that it ‘exposes’ Women for America First as “an astroturf group of grifters” who are guilty of “setting up” “patriots” and “trashed the instructions” that “patriots” apparently needed in order to know not to enter the Capitol Building with weapons and assault police.
Meanwhile, Women for America First and co-founder Amy Kremer are posting the same generic conspiracy theories about who let protestors in (though Kremer also shares a video showing people in body armor breaking in through windows) and the standard whataboutism in which she tries to compare this to Black Lives Matter protests.
Ultimately, it appears there’s been another tiny shift from far-right groups and individuals claiming the insurrection didn’t happen or wasn’t an attempted insurrection, to pointing fingers and claiming other far-right groups are actually the ones responsible for the violence.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com