“What I Saw at the Capitol on January 6: Perspectives from Two Protestors” - Braver Angels

“What I Saw at the Capitol on January 6: Perspectives from Two Protestors”


Braver Angels members Chrissy Koach and Tom Cook are Trump voters who were at the January 6 protests on Capitol Hill. They join Braver Angels co-founder David Lapp to share their first-hand accounts of that day, and their thoughts on how we can move forward together.

Twitter: @braverangels


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38 thoughts on ““What I Saw at the Capitol on January 6: Perspectives from Two Protestors””

  1. Celestina Otasua

    I just want to thank both of these brave members for sharing their truth. I was hesitant initially, especially knowing that they were at the Capitol. My political beliefs are a solid “blue” and I live in a very “red” state. And while I didn’t agree with everything that was said, I felt drawn to keep watching. At the end of it all, I’m so glad that they are both willing to focus on policies and principles as opposed to making their political party about just one individual. I hope to do the same.

  2. I can’t understand why the “Trump voters” felt the need to protest a free and fair election. Your speaker said the media “broad brush stroke” didn’t adequately reflect the majority of “Trump voters” who were at the demonstration, yet there was truly no reason for them to be at the capital protesting in the first place.

  3. Your speaker says he was there to protest that his “government hadn’t been able to function for 4 years.” So that makes some sense. However, what about the past eight Obama years when the GOP had not allowed the government to function, and stated as such?

  4. It’s pure propaganda that Dems want to “retrain GOP brains,” or that Biden “won’t be the one in charge,” as Chrissy says.

    Where does she hear this stuff? It’s from the right-wing media that truly wants to “keep them all in line” by believing lies; not from the left.

    I’m trying to understand these speakers. They mention things such as “cancel culture,” “blacks would have been treated differently should not even be mentioned.” Cancel culture, dehumanization, occurs on both sides. Though it should not.

    Do agree we need to all see each other as human and try to focus on what we each mutually value. The fringes on both sides will always be with us but we can’t let them lead us around by the nose.

    Focus on policy makes sense. Disinformation does not. Love the idea of listening and dialoguing “until this country is healed” through programs like Better Angels, watch what you say, rebuild trust in each other … and trust and faith in God by both sides.

    I’m a moderate Blue and believe what Jesus said, “Faith, hope, love. These three. The greatest of these is love.”

  5. I’ve watched almost all of the one hour podcast with Chrissy and Tom interviewed by David Lapp, and wonder why you did not show them the tape of what President Trump did say in his speech to the people gathered to hear him the morning of January 6th. Chrissy has not seen it, Tom was not there at the time of the speech, yet Tom asked whether they thought Trump inspired the crowd to attach the Capitol. Please in future, if they say they have not heard it – more than a week later when it’s been in so much media – it’s worth asking them to watch it and respond to it. That’s just asking them to listen to what was actually said, then asking them to evaluate it. Please try doing that. Thanks!
    P.S. I am trying to post this comment, and it says I’ve already posted it – but I haven’t!

  6. Catherine Friend

    Interesting, but without a blue perspective to call out some of the inaccurate information the man was sharing, this was very, very one-sided. How could I even talk with this man when he has such a twisted view of Trump’s presidency? And the woman? So sure that Biden is being controlled by someone else? So sad. You haven’t done anything here to advance blue/red communication; you’ve just given two reds the platform for continuing to make outrageous claims. Feel like I’ve wasted an hour of my life.

  7. judith malone

    Chrissy said she depends on what husband says without looking herself. She didn’t follow the Tweets of Trump himself. She used Fox News talking points. To have a relevant opinion she should perhaps watch less of opinions of others. The man just joined BA to get on air and confesses that he didn’t listen to Trumps nasty speeches and inflammatory rhetoric . Yet both support not holding him responsible for the many shooters that invoke his name while explaining their atrocities. Yes. There were many good Republicans. Good people. Who are willing to not see how they were used. And yet, they say let him go to keep the peace. That does not take into account the worst racists, sexist, violence advocates in America are, like these two. Innocent citizens at his beck and call. He needs to be held accountable for what his words have done. And see his tactics serve his agenda and no public good.

  8. Really disappointed in Tim Cook. He doesn’t at all seem to be able to put himself in the shoes of the other side. Where was the acknowledgment that liberals had points about Trump’s nastiness, racism, and corruption? Why the downplaying of those things? Why the talking point that the Russian investigation was completely baseless–does he even understand the need for the investigation, or has he only been listening to one side of the conversation? Is there something wrong with seeing the pattern of demagoguery repeated in Trump that has happened in so many places and times? Do I deserve vilification for that? And finally, his statement that there was nothing wrong in the past 60 days with the questioning of the election results, describing the process as normal and Constitutional, is completely, utterly wrong. I say this as an attorney. He should educate himself on that very important point, and he will see how Trump was truly trying to undermine the Constitution. Tim should not take at face value the one-sided arguments he’s heard. The months since the election really have been a serious crisis. Trump really has been a danger. He really is a racist, even if not all his supporters are. He really does fit the pattern of a dangerous demagogue. Read how demagogues work and see Trump using the same tools, as much as he could get away with it. Read conservative voices with those same concerns–it’s not just liberals, it’s lots of Americans concerned about the rule of law.

    In summary, Tim sees himself as open minded and clear eyed, but he simply isn’t those things as much as he thinks he is. He talked about humility and how we’re all Americans, but I didn’t see him showing much empathy toward Americans who feel differently than he does. He didn’t exhibit the spirit of Braver Angels. I’m disappointed. I was disappointed in the last conservative voice I heard on a BA podcast episode, as well. I’m starting to see a trend where, for some reason, conservative grievance is a more important message on the podcast than liberal concerns. This is not what I was hoping for.

    Chrissy, by contrast, was great. Thanks, Chrissy.

  9. Great conversation – learned alot about the Trump rally in Washington. I’m building more and more understanding of a side of the conversation I never heard. Thanks for doing this. Peace to all.

  10. I love the premise of your project. What I do not like is that these two folks refuse to understand that Trump PROMOTED this rally on the false premise that Mike Pence had the authority to decide that state certified electoral votes were not valid and thus could be sent back to the states where the legislators would then send a new slate of electors who would vote for Trump.

    This, coupled with the ongoing narrative that the election was stolen, is WHY these Trump voters were there. Otherwise the 6th of January is an uneventful day which is a short ceremonial event to nationally certify the electoral votes.

    I am continually dismayed that people don’t understand this. They skip over it and refuse to understand that while they were peaceful Trump has not been. As Chrissy said, to whom much is given much is required. Trump had the moral responsibility to denounce the violent fringe but instead he soft-pedaled it and constantly retweeted racist and violent content. Both of these voters are repeating the false narratives that their preferred media has fed them. They refuse to see Trump for who he actually is.

    I am fully open for dialog and conversation but Tom is correct in that we feel that Trump supporters refuse to allow for the establishment of agreeable facts, because that has been our experience. It is exasperating. Secondly, Tom says that EVERYTHING that was done to “find out” what happened in the election was legal and proper and that is simply not a fact. I don’t want to go into all the details but suffice it to say that in the after-analysis it will be even more clear what the illegal and improper actions were.

    Tom says stop listening to people who yell but he neglects to say that there are plenty who don’t yell and still fully lie and manipulate the listeners/viewers. Trump did not have the most favorable rating. A majority of Americans did NOT feel that their lives have been improved. This is the type of narrative that they believe without any factual basis.

    If we can’t sit down and focus on the facts then how can we discuss policy?

    And lastly, when Tom says that race shouldn’t be a part of the conversation he is being naive. Why do I say this? Because he wants others to see his concerns without “Trump” being part of the conversation but he dismisses the very real concerns from non-white people in the differences in treatment, well-documented, in similar situations.

    Race is very much a part of our shared history and it is very relevant today. We have come far but not far enough. From the perspective of the dominant race the minorities shouldn’t be complaining/comparing and this is simply untenable. Especially when the white conservative Americans want to have their complaints be seen and heard as valid.

    I very much want Braver Angels and similar initiatives to succeed. I have been heartbroken over and over seeing my good, kind, decent, wonderful, upstanding, dependable, friends and customers sucked into a mostly fictional narrative about Trump and his claimed accomplishments and violations of his oath of office. Both Tom and Chrissy repeated these narratives throughout their answers. I applaud them for joining Braver Angels and I confess to being mean-spirited at times, mostly when attacked while TRYING to have a civil conversation. But I knew that I made the wrong choice and a month ago I decided to change and that has been wonderful but not easy. So to them both I hope that they see this and take it in the spirit of Braver Angel’s goals and know that I wish us all to be better citizens and not apathetic until we are apoplectic.


    John Barton, capitalist business owner, humanist, seeker of knowledge and the wisdom to wield it properly.

  11. Nancy Van Deusen

    I just listened to the “What I Saw” podcast. I was struck by the denial of what happened at the protest. Because they were not there to cause harm, the assumed that was true of everyone there. I watched in horror on TV and I can say I saw violence, including a noose and a confederate flag. Those are not peaceful symbols.
    I am an independent and have voted for Republicans and Democrats, but I found Trump to be misogynistic in what he said and how he behaved. I do not want my daughters and granddaughters to grow up in a world where they are not respected. I also found his assault on the environment frightening because it was a denial of science.
    I am curious as to where these two people get their information, that allows them to support a person who is misogynistic and racist in his rhetoric and ignores science. Surely that is not a Republican view. If it is, we have no hope of unity in this country.

  12. While I recognize the value and importance of deepening understandings of those who see the world differently, I question whether Braver Angels cares at all about the downside impacts of airing unchecked, unadulterated conspiracy theories. Those on this podcast may not realize the racism and antisemitism baked into the conspiracy theories they espouse, but as an American Jew I feel obligated to alert Braver Angels to the very real damage caused by perpetuating these lies.

    How this this podcast any different from the Parler app? If Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene can be removed from public discourse for spreading these exact same conspiracy theories, why doesn’t Braver Angels see any responsibility on its part to debunk these claims and not give them further air time? One of these features guests joined Braver Angels one day before the organization gave them a platform to spread grievance politics and baseless conspiracy theories. Does anyone else see the issue here?

    Again, I recognize the importance of bringing people together and making sure folks feel heard and seen. I believe a version of this podcast could exist here in a way that does not perpetuate dangerous conspiracy theories. It would require some fact checking and gentle pushback, which ironically, is the real bravery that this organization seems incapable of demonstrating or asking of its members. This is a dangerous, lie-filled and conspiracy theory-filled hour of content that could well serve to further radicalize violent actors. It is reprehensible and should be removed immediately.

  13. This made my blood boil. Put to the test all my listening skills. Anger and sadness. Recognition of being in an alternate universe. Opening to listening to the sincerity of their beliefs and fears and marveling at the trance of projection. (sorry) “Trump is the victim.” Wow, lots of work ahead.
    Thank you for providing this for all to see and learn from.

  14. As I listened to this podcast, I was struck by how much these two people have not heard the message of President Joe Bidden as he asks for Unity and healing. It seems to me that as long as we seek only the message we want to hear, we will continue to have this unfortunate divide.

  15. At one point, Tom Cook states there are people who simply don’t like Trump’s tone. I would want to ask, is it okay for our president to have a ‘tone’ that incites the citizens against each other? I also recognize that the media feeds this divide. This wasn’t a close election. Bidden won by over 7 million votes. I would not call that close.
    I’ve seen several posts that claim Ms Harris is not qualified to be Vice President. How is any less qualified than a governor from Ill? Could the image of one being an old white-man vs a younger woman of color have anything to do with that observation?

  16. Fantastic interview. Wish everyone in our country could watch it. I reall loved the last part that included discussion on what we can do to heal.
    Thank you!

  17. Thank you! I had just read an article on the AP that mentioned Better Angles and went to your site and listened to the pod cast on the capital riot. I thought both guest did a fantastic job and I will stay connected to your ongoing podcasts.

  18. John Ramsbottom

    Tom and Chrissy
    Thank you for your courage in being willing to speak out. However you see yourselves, you are in fact “leaders” of the best sort, setting an example of honesty and reasonableness.
    I have been a member of Braver Angels for over a year. I look forward to the return of “in person” events so that I can meet people like you.
    I hope that on Jan. 20th you did hear a newly elected President say he will listen to (govern on behalf of) those who did not support him. But it’s up to us to make sure it happens.

  19. Jonathan Biatch

    I am with your cause, but these comments discourage me. Tom said, toward the end of the podcast, beginning at about 0.46:00 into the program, that remarks about Charlottesville and about what he viewed as the “unprecedented persecution” against Trump over the four years “went way overboard” in calling out Trump as a racist. I can tell you that as a member of a persecuted minority in this country (Jewish) and as an ally of the many groups against which Trump promoted wrong-headed policies, we felt racism against many groups coming out of Trump’s mouth for the last five years, and we saw his Charlottesville comments as merely illustrative of a personality that was insufficient for office and worthy of both criticism and of bearing in mind. Later on, Tom speaks about focusing on discussions about policy, and not other matters. If everything else were equal, that would be fine. But Trump’s racist remarks and his clear courting of racially motivated White supremacists and White nationalist groups must also be called out. For Tom to imply that such language needs to be pushed to the side in order to bring ‘red and blue together’ is not only naive, but dangerous and threatening to us who are part of minority groups and allies to other groups.

  20. Jennifer J Young

    Tears of appreciation for this forum and its work to bring people together to listen, empathize and discover common ground. Thanks Chrissy and Tom for being determined to be the light.

  21. This “Braver Angels” video of an interview with “Tom Cook” and “Chrissy Koach” helped me to have Hope in the ultimate success of American Democracy. It is reassuring to see their Willingness to “Work Things Out” in the normal oppositional environment that is always with a nation of Our Size. There will always be disagreement somewhere and in various degrees, regarding policies and issues in the Governance of Our Nation.
    The Democratic Process is intended to find the best Common Ground for a diverse Citizenry, so that a Majority of the Populace can benefit from The Ways We Do Things, while, Ideally, most Minority elements are included, to some degree, in the in the Fairness and Justice of Our Land. The Principle is: “The Most Good, For The Most People.” This principle becomes Better and Better, in governance application, as We The People Work diligently to find and build upon, The strongest areas of Agreement, that We can.
    We should almost always respect the principle of “Majority Rule” in the voting process.
    Thank you, “Braver Angels” for doing this interview with less radicalized Citizens of the Republican Kind. In the long run, this Work will produce a More Stable American Society…an essential ingredient in the many kinds of success of Our Nation.
    It’s Good to see Republicans that I actually like. Now…where are some Democrats that I like? I’m of the Independent Citizen Ilk. A more diverse bunch you will never find.

  22. The problem was, the former president did NOT denounce the violence. He specifically encouraged The Proud Boys to demonstrate. Ditto after what happened when KKK folk with lit torches in Charlottesville chanted the neo-Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil.” No other president in modern history was so blatantly pro-violence.

    Neither of the two people being interviewed in this particular segment mentioned that the former president encouraged the entire group to walk to the Capitol Building. Given the former president’s record of being pro-violence, what did they expect would happen???? It may have been a relatively small percentage of the demonstrators there that day on Jan. 6 that stormed the Capitol. But they were backed up by a party that refuses to face reality. That is what boggles my mind.

    Over 65% of Republicans still believe the election was stolen from them. Recall that Democrats had the reverse happen 4 years ago. They did demonstrate briefly after Inauguration Day, but they did not ignore reality as the Republicans seem to be doing.

    As to the question if the former president bears responsibility: A president is supposed to be a leader. So in what he says, what he tweeted, he does bear responsibility for the violence on Jan. 6th! Impeachment is proceeding in direct response to be sure that the former president never holds elected office again. Because he has clearly shown he is incapable of leading.

  23. judith@divingturtle.com

    I really appreciate the opportunity to see this presentation! I think it is important to recognize that it is not just social media that is distorting our realities (Chrissy mentioned the film The Social Dilemma) – it is also our news/magazine sources. I recently started deliberately reading both red and blue news/magazine sources and it is really eye-opening. Take a look at the media bias chart that allsides.com has developed, and try to sample from both sides. I call it my “Pick-Two Challenge” – always pick two opposite sources for being informed.

  24. Hello,
    I appreciated the speakers coming forward to present what happened at the rally on Jan 6th. I agree that the media made all of them look like they wanted violence. I wish people on both sides of the isle would stop judging the other. I have heard both sides demonize the other for the past 4 years, which comes from judgment. It’s gone beyond having an opinion. I was raised blue, but have been leaning more and more to center/ center right. I am more of an independent now. As a former psychologist, I have learned you cannot begin to “hear” or have empathy for the other until you have made an effort to stand in their shoes… or to work at active listening their point of view until they feel “heard”. Only then will people begin to listen to the other or opposing view. I hope Braver Angels will hone these skills to really begin to make an impact with people experiencing empathy for the other. That ‘opening up’ after being heard usually evokes compassion for the other as well. Even though I really liked Tom’s question: “ what would you like to see your side do in the future to come together ( or heal this rift), both guests could only speak to how they haven’;t been seen as people, or how hurtful is for others to generalize about them. This response comes first because they haven’t had the “Blue” side say, I am sorry we hurt you by. ( naming the behavior)..or Red side, same thing. My hope is that moderators will practice this important skill. After being able to reflect hearing how hard its’ been for people, no matter what the issue is, only then can the other move forward when asking for a behavior change from the ‘offending’ party. However, I have so much appreciation for Braver Angels working toward this goal.

  25. Thanks for doing this video. I think it’s really helpful to keeping our country together.

    As a Democrat, I think both guests seem like decent people that I could talk to and get along with. I certainly have some points I disagree with, but I also see some areas where we agree.

    I hope the guests can agree that if a candidate lies about winning an election that it is undemocratic to do so and should be held accountable.

  26. I would love to hear guests asked to put themselves in the shoes of the “other side”. This year, we have had so many protests. Both sides have people who are frustrated that they don’t feel represented and aren’t being heard. Isn’t this a perfect time to realize how terrible it feels to not be heard? We should all be asked to empathize with those who don’t feel represented and make more of an effort to understand why they don’t feel represented.

  27. Fletcher Hutcheson Jr

    How do we come to respect each other when we insist on such strongly differing political and social views of what is true and what is false? Also, how can we respect persons who believe in Q Anon, and how can they respect persons who think Q Anon is very harmful?

  28. Peaceful demonstration is a constitutional right. I still don’t know what people expected to accomplish by going to Washington DC on January 6th. The election was over. By our constitution and the Electoral College. January 6th was administrative to certify the election. I also hear “victim” by the male speaker. He was a victim. The election was a sham. Trump was a victim. It was this victimization that Trump played into from the time he was originally elected in 2016.

  29. Carolyn Mendenhall

    This podcast represents the best and the worst of the Braver Angels experience. On one hand two folks who were at the rally found a safe space to share their experience.

    On the other hand, while they were complaining about being painted with a broad brush, they were painting the other side with a broad brush. From Tom Cook “I tell people that it is almost like they want us to stand on the steps of the capital, put a sign around our necks saying that I was wrong. I was wrong, I shouldn’t have voted from Trump. he is a bad man and please forgive me.”

    Who is this they that demand contrition. As a center left Democrat, I respect your right to vote your conscience. Just as I reserve the right to vote mine. You say “there are pages and pages of accomplishments for foreign policy, for people of color, for education.” And I respect your right to view Trump’s policies through a preferable lens.

    But I see no reciprocity, I see no room to say that I as a seventy-year-old woman of color who does not believe Trumps foreign policy, or policies targeted at people of color or education were accomplishments We can both state our reasons for our conclusions. And we can respectfully engage our difference but your passionate replies do not leave room for that discussion.

    They were allowed to act as if they had a corner on the truth as if folks on the other side owed them an apology. And that other had no right to speak of the proceedings in ways that resonated with their experiences.

    From Tom Cook the other side needs to facilitate “conversation and admitting that things were taken too far. The beautiful lady that spoke the other night from Illinois. Even shush could not hold back from saying that if the crowd was black they would have been killed. That narrative should not come anywhere close to talking about what happened at the capital. Race should not be talked at all about what happened at the capital”.

    Why does Tom Cook deserve to see the world, politics, and policy through his lens but Amania Drake and I are not allowed to talk about our lived experience.

    Like so many Braver Angels events they engaged in monologues with no push back from the moderator.

  30. Thank you–this is a perspective that we don’t get from the usual media sources. Even though I wasn’t a supporter of Trump, it’s heartening to see and hear warm, generous people who liked his policies, even as they abhorred the violence at the Jan. 6 event.

  31. Tom says “President Trump has THE most favorable rating of any President.” From everything I have seen he has had the LOWEST rating of any President. Here in lies the problem. Numbers can be twisted to lie, but there is a mathematical truth. If we can’t even get the same world view on concrete things such as this how are we ever going to get to any agreement on philosophical issues such as immigration.

  32. I began watching this with hope but I’m afraid this falls short of where it needs to be in order to seek consensus.

    I’m trying to understand what this protest was about in the first place. Do these people understand that we had a legal, secure election and that Joe Biden won? I do not understand how, with the disposition of all of the court cases, and the testimony of our elections officials and security officials saying this election was fair and true, all of these people were there to protest the election results. When they say that they wanted their voices heard, what was the message? That we only accept elections that go the way we wanted them to? That our voices matter more than others’ do?

    I’m sorry, I’m having a real hard time with this narrative. Conveniently, neither one could hear Trump inciting the crowd. I’ve listened to the address. I’ve watched countless videos of the actual event. I’ve read the cases of those who have been arrested and charged. It’s obvious that a huge number of people came well prepared for violence, with the clear idea that they were going to stop the counting of the electoral votes and place Trump in the place of president, in spite of the election results.

    When your president accepts and supports racist groups like the Proud Boys and the KKK, doesn’t that give you any pause at all? The fact that you have personal friends that are Jewish or black or whatever does not change this. Have you any idea the fear that people of other races have had to live with during this presidency? When you have people at your protest wearing shirts that say ‘Camp Auschwitz’ and “6MWE”, you don’t think twice about what kind of a crowd you are in? At what point do you recognize it is time to separate from a group because it no longer represents your values?

    I have been a registered Republican since the 1970’s and I separated as soon as Trump was nominated. I am not the only one. The things he did over the past 4 years vindicated my decision. Ruling through childish tweets, attacking and denigrating people, demonizing his enemies, demanding personal loyalty from all agency officials, nepotism, enriching himself through his position, separating children from their parents at the border, excusing and accepting racist groups, presenting himself as a savior, shamelessly pandering to religious groups, bragging about molesting women, demonizing the press and cutting people off from information, all of it. As a Christian, his character goes against everything I believe and value.

    I’ve listened to Trump’s address, in which he clearly directed the crowd to the capitol. I don’t feel that either of these people are very well informed, either before, or since the riot. Have they thought of finally checking other news sources and seeing what the rest of the world sees happening? Maybe then they would understand why people look at them the way they do. Much of what they said here is blatantly false. Their comments lead me to believe neither felt it was their civic duty to watch the first impeachment hearings. The comments about arrogance in other officials than Trump are ridiculous. Joe Biden has been humble and has clearly said that he wants to lead the whole country, not just those who voted for him. I don’t think either have even listened to his speeches. I don’t think they have any idea what his policies or plans are.

    If they want to move forward together, the first thing they need to do is get out of the bubble of biased right-wing news and become better informed. This is just trying to whitewash the ugliness of reality. It comes across as propaganda. It may make them feel better about themselves but it’s not going to win anyone over. They need to join the rest of the world in recognizing that there is such a thing as truth and that it can be ascertained. Things like election results are not a matter of opinion.

  33. Teresa Bryan Peneguy

    Respectfully, it seems like Ms Koach and Mr Cook are expressing confusion about why the other side feels as it does, at the same time as they admit they haven’t been paying attention.

    Mr Cook says he never followed Mr Trump’s tweets because he didn’t care for his personality. That’s fine, but that also means Mr Cook never saw the President retweet “THE ONLY GOOD DEMOCRAT IS A DEAD DEMOCRAT,” or any of the other thousands of tweets and retweets in which the most powerful man on the planet laughed about violence to Democratic congressmen and journalists, joked about nuclear war, used racist dog-whistles and slandered hundreds of people, many of whom required police security as a result.

    Mr Cook may not know how many people once close to this President, including Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump’s autobiography; Mike Cohen, Trump’s attorney from 2006 to 2018; John Bolton, Trump’s former National Security Adviser; Jim Mattis, Trump’s former Defense Secretary; John Kelly, Trump’s former Homeland Security Secretary; Mark Esper, former Secretary of Defense; and many, many more, have not simply criticized Mr Trump but referred to him as “an existential danger to the Republic,” “insane” and “a sociopath.”

    Mr Cook said Mr Trump did not tell anyone to storm the Capitol, but admitted he only heard parts of the speech. Full transcripts are available of that and many, many others, where he made clear his support for violence against the other side. (Just one: “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell … I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise!” Feb. 1, 2016, Cedar Rapids rally).

    Mr Cook may not be aware of the statistically significant increase in hate crimes in the US against Latinos, Jews and LGBTQ people, and how they correlate with Trump’s speeches and tweets.

    I’m not surprised Mr Cook didn’t know why there is fear around this man. How can you know if you don’t watch and listen? Also, one way to find out why any Republicans support impeaching Mr Trump again is to look it up: https://www.nytimes.com/article/republicans-impeaching-donald-trump.html

    Likewise, Ms. Koach felt the other side was going too far in its reaction to events on the 6th even though she said she hadn’t watched news reports afterward. Well, I guess if you don’t see reports like this one (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/11/capitol-riot-video-arrests-show-darker-intent-overrun-congress/6615804002/) … then of course you don’t know.

    For an example of someone conceding the election and graciously wanting to work with the other side, a great place to start would be this video of Al Gore presiding over the Electoral College vote for Bush in 2001 ( https://youtu.be/LX6RyimNzXc )

    Believe me, I agree unity is great, and will be necessary to move forward. But you can’t be baffled at how the other side feels when you aren’t even aware of why they feel the way they do. As they say, “ignorance is bliss.”

  34. I’m willing to give benefit of doubt that attendees like Tom and Chrissy did not go with violent intent. But was the motive of the majority in attending the assembly on the day the electoral votes were being ceremonially counted by Congress? Were they supporting the idea that the election was stolen and they were there to support overturning the popular vote and electoral college victory by Biden?

  35. Please direct me to the podcast episode where these two reflect on their role in contributing to the deaths of Capitol police officers and to the lasting trauma endured by those actual brave officers who saved the lives of our members of Congress. There has been extensive media coverage (though perhaps not on Fox News or Breitbart) about the attack on the Capitol. Are these Braver Angels participants still proud of their participation? And still can’t understand how people could see this event differently? And do they still contribute to and support the political leaders who planned, promoted, and encouraged this event? Have they attempted to make restitution in any way?

    I am also interested in hearing the podcast episode where Braver Angels members who were affected by the Capitol attack are interviewed. Please include links to both these episodes.

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