The Missouri Republican said he doesn't have remorse for raising his fist to the pro-Trump mob ahead of the Capitol insurrection.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said he has no remorse over the now-infamous photo in which he is seen raising his fist in the air on the day of the Capitol insurrection, showing support for the people who wanted to block certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.
"When I walked by that particular group of folks were standing there peacefully behind police barricades well off of the plaza, and I waved to them, gave them the thumbs-up, pumped my fist to 'em, and thanked them for being there, and they had every right to do that," Hawley said Tuesday morning at an event hosted by the Washington Post to promote his new book.
The interviewer went on to ask Hawley if he regrets doing that given the riot Donald Trump supporters waged at the Capitol after the photo was taken, to which Hawley replied: "No, because 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, who came to the Capitol that day to demonstrate peacefully, to lump them in with the criminal rioters."
Hawley was one of the instigators of the effort to block certification of Biden's Electoral College victory.
On Dec. 30, 2020, he announced that he'd object to the Electoral College results, allowing for a debate and a full vote in Congress. And he followed through on that promise, even after the pro-Trump mob violently broke into the Capitol to try to block Biden's victory — with some of the insurrectionists chanting "hang Mike Pence."
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.
Hawley has never expressed remorse for his actions.
Instead, he's tried to capitalize off his newfound infamy by raking in cash for his future political endeavors.
"Despite the aggressive attacks by national Democrats, special interest groups, and many in the media, a strong majority of Missouri voters have rallied to Senator Hawley," Hawley's pollster, Wes Anderson, wrote in a memo back in February of Hawley's political standing and fundraising success following the insurrection.
But some law enforcement officers who responded to the riot have spoken out against Republicans who have sought to whitewash the insurrection.
"Some of the terminology that was used, like 'hugs and kisses,' and 'very fine people,' is like very different from what I experienced and what my co-workers experienced on the 6th," Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone, who responded to the riot, told CNN.