Brooks: No apology for remarks ahead of riot
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) —
An Alabama congressman who told a pro-Trump crowd that it was time for “kicking ass” said he saw no relationship between his remarks and the violence that erupted later at the U.S. Capitol.
“Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” Brooks said at the Save America rally on Wednesday that preceded the riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Brooks has come under fire for the comments at the rally in which he told the crowd that he wanted them to take a message back home and “along the way stop at the Capitol.” The rally brought thousands to Washington as President Donald Trump continued to dispute his loss to President-Elect Joe Biden. The demonstrations turned violent as a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. A law enforcement officer and a protestor were killed.
Brooks gave a fiery 10-minute speech at the rally near the White House in which he railed against the socialist Democrats. Brooks said while the 2020 election was over that the certification vote of Joe Biden’s win that was about to take place was a defining moment for Republicans. He told the crowd it will show whether they “will join us and they will fight and vote against voter fraud and election theft and for keeping America great.”
Brooks in a Friday interview with WAFF said, both he and Trump wanted the crowd to go protest at the Capitol, but “it never occurred to me that anyone would engage in any kind of violence.”
Brooks said he was trying to be like a “locker room coach” and encourage the crowd for future elections.
“You talk about kicking ass, the Democrats these past three months they just kicked ours,” Brooks said, adding that ass is another word for a donkey, a symbol of the Democratic Party.
State Rep. Chris England, the chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, in a series of tweets, said Brooks played a role in inciting the violence and had for weeks “been lying to the public and whipping people into a frenzy that he and crew were going to ‘stop the steal’ Wednesday.”
“So, @RepMoBrooks, what did you think was going to happen after you spent weeks lying to people to get them riled up and then ask them are they willing to sacrifice their blood, sweat, tears, livelihoods and even their lives? This is your failed coup,” England tweeted.