Josh Hawley hit by fellow GOP senator for running away on Jan. 6: "Not his greatest moment"

When Mitt Romney is getting his digs in on you ...

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer
Published July 27, 2022 2:25PM (EDT)
Updated July 27, 2022 5:35PM (EDT)
Mitt Romney and Josh Hawley (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Mitt Romney and Josh Hawley (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Tuesday said that a recently-surfaced video of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., running away from the Capitol riot was "not his greatest moment."

"You know, I haven't heard what his explanation is, but obviously that was not his greatest moment in that hearing," Romney told Insider shortly after the January 6 committee played footage of Hawley fleeing in its latest hearing. 

It isn't the first time Romney has attacked Hawley over his possible role in inciting the riot.

Last May, The Washington Post reported that Romney screamed at Hawley while the mob was ransacking the Capitol. "You have caused this!" Romney reportedly erupted at the Missouri Republican. 

Hawley's desperation to escape the riot as it was unfolding runs in stark contrast to his persona just hours before, during the "Stop the Steal" rally, where the conservative lawmaker raised his fist for the throng of Trump supporters who would go on to breach the Capitol. Hawley has since said that he has no regrets about striking that pose. 

During last Thursday's January 6 hearing, Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., played never-before-seen footage of Hawley running out of the Capitol building to escape the violent crowd of Trump supporters. 

"Earlier that afternoon before the joint session started, he walked across the East Front of the Capitol," said Luria, displaying a photo of Hawley fist-pumping the riotous mob. "As you can see in this photo, he raised his fist in solidarity with the protesters already amassing at the security gates."

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"Later that day," she added, "Senator Hawley fled after those protesters he helped rile up stormed the Capitol. See for yourself."

RELATED: Hawley roasted by hometown paper after ridicule for running out of Capitol on Jan. 6

After the footage was displayed, Hawley was widely mocked by Democrats and some Republicans.

On Sunday, Hawley's hometown paper, The Kansas City Star, called him a "laughing stock," who despite championing "masculine virtues," is actually a "fleeing coward."

Hawley, elected in 2019, was notably the first GOP senator to officially object to then-President-elect Biden's win in the 2020 election.

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

MORE FROM Jon Skolnik

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Brief Capitol Riot Gop Gop Civil War Jan. 6 Jan. 6 Hearing Josh Hawley Mitt Romney Republicans Senate