MSNBC's Elise Jordan stumped a focus group of Republican voters who blamed left-wing protesters for the violence on Jan. 6, 2021.
The "Morning Joe" contributor interviewed voters in Georgia, and the panel of Republicans parroted conspiracy theories to minimize the deadly riots and blamed anti-fascist factions for the violence, although all of the hundreds of individuals charged in connection with the insurrection appear to be Donald Trump supporters.
"There was a lot of bad stuff that happened that day, I agree," said one focus group participant, a white man who appeared to be about 60 years old. "But I believe the portion of people that were troublemakers is very small. No. 2 how many of those troublemakers were actually Antifa or intentional troublemakers?"
That caught the attention of another participant, a white woman who twice signaled her agreement by saying, "Exactly."
"There's a whole series of questions that don't add up," the man continued, "and you have to go through this much boilerplate and crap to find the three nuggets of truth or hard fact or information that really matters. I'm frustrated by the entire thing, I want to forget about it, but I looked at every photograph in the ["Atlanta Journal-Constitution"], about 20 photos that day. All the ones smashing and bashing and crashing, 25, 28 years old, skinny jeans with the beards. I said to myself, 'That's not the normal Republican.' I mean, look at us here. I mean, maybe he was paid to do that."
"None of it makes any sense," he added, throwing in debunked claims about a riot participant. "When you read about, you know, Ray Epps being at the one gate that fell first, when you read about the Molotov cocktails left at the DNC the night before with only a mechanical kitchen timer, not anything remotely triggered, so after 60 minutes, the timer can't be activated. Kamala Harris went to the DNC. Bombs were found by her crew at 11:50, 12:50, within five minutes of Ray Epps giving the orders to crash the first barrier barrier. Then the riots started because the police had to withdraw from that area and investigate the molotov cocktails. There is so much going on when you bore down into the facts."
Jordan then stumped the man and other panelists by asking about the former president's response to the chaotic violence, which was carried out by individuals wearing MAGA hats and carrying Trump campaign banners.
"Let's take a step [back]," Jordan said. "So if this was happening, and it was Antifa, then why didn't President Trump whip into action and stop it? He didn't tweet, he didn't call off the dogs. Why was that?"
The man smiled weakly and nodded, and then simply shrugged.