In a scathing critique, CNN’s Jake Tapper strongly condemned former President Donald Trump for characterizing the January 6 rioters as “hostages.” Tapper, on his show “State of the Union,” expressed incredulity at Trump’s choice of words, emphasizing that these individuals, who stormed the Capitol on January 6, bear no resemblance to actual hostages held by attackers.
Tapper highlighted the irony that Trump chose the anniversary of the insurrection he allegedly incited to deliver speeches referring to the rioters as “hostages” and demanding their release from President Joe Biden.
During the show’s opening segment, Tapper dedicated two minutes to lambasting Trump’s speech, criticizing it for various aspects, including what he deemed as Civil War revisionism, mockery of the late Sen. John McCain’s war injuries sustained as a Vietnam POW, and Trump’s comparison of the January 6 rioters to innocent Israelis being held by terrorists in Gaza.
Tapper, visibly frustrated, presented the stark contrast between Trump’s portrayal of the rioters and the true meaning of hostages, specifically pointing to innocent people kidnapped by Hamas in Israel, including women, children, and at least seven Americans.
He concluded by reiterating that the individuals involved in the January 6 insurrection are not hostages but rather prisoners—Americans accused and, in many cases, convicted of crimes related to the attack on the Capitol. Tapper emphasized the gravity of the situation by noting that Trump’s role leading up to that day is now under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will determine whether the former president can be disqualified from state ballots due to the 14th Amendment, which bars individuals engaged in insurrection from holding federal office.
TAPPER: Hello. I’m Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is once again just shaking our heads.
We’re eight days from the Iowa caucuses, one day past the third anniversary of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and Donald Trump is dominating the political conversation in the only way he can, with wild and outlandish comments, among them, claiming that the U.S. Civil War could have been avoided if it had been negotiated, mocking the war injuries that the late John McCain sustained as a Vietnam POW, imitating President Biden’s stutter, all of this is Biden is trying to frame his own bid around protecting democracy.
Yesterday, as CNN obtained shocking new video of rioters directly off the House floor on January 6 shouting at Capitol Police and Republican lawmakers, Trump attempted to twist the facts about the attack on the Capitol by his supporters, claiming that President Biden was the actual threat to democracy.
While 1,265 of Trump’s supporters have been charged for their criminal conduct that day, 718 have pleaded guilty, 171 have been found guilty at trial, including for such crimes as seditious conspiracy and using deadly weapons and attacking law enforcement officers, Trump is calling on Biden to release these criminals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Some people call them prisoners. I call them hostages. Release the J6 hostages, Joe. Release them, Joe. You can do it real easy, Joe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: To be clear, these are not hostages! Hostages are the innocent people Hamas kidnapped from Israel and is now holding in Gaza, women and children and at least seven Americans.
These are prisoners, Americans accused and convicted in many cases of crimes related to the January 6 insurrection!
Now, Trump’s role leading up to that day is now a topic for the U.S. Supreme Court, which will decide whether the former president can be disqualified from state ballots in the wake of the Capitol attacks because of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution barring those who engage in insurrection from holding federal office.