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“One person I talked to at the crowd sort of gave voice to the way a lot of these people feel. They say I’m a born-again American. I have been re-awoken to the reality of what the left has done to my country. This is not Donald Trump only. This is what he has exposed,” Hegseth said.
He added that the Trump supporters who participated in the riot aren’t “conspiracy theorists motivated just by lies” but rather principled conservatives who’re seeing the foundations of America — think liberty, freedom, etc. — be flushed down the toilet.
“They see exactly what the anti-American left has done to America: indoctrinating our kids, opening our borders, canceling individuals, totally censoring entire viewpoints, all the double standards that exist in our country right now,” he said.
Worse, he added, they feel helpless to stop any of this because America’s election system has supposedly been rigged through the implementation of unconstitutional changes such as the rule changes made to implement universal mail-in balloting.
“We’re always told … you get them at the ballot box. You come back two years later and you get them at the ballot box. What happens when you don’t have that recourse? What happens when they use COVID as a guise to change all the guidelines constitutionally?” the Fox News host explained.
“We could have voted in person. I can go to Walmart. I can go to a store. I can go to a restaurant. I can go to sports games in some places. You tell me we couldn’t have voted? I just don’t buy it, and so I’m actually not surprised by what happened yesterday.”
Listen to his remarks below:
He cautioned that he’s not excusing what happened — but merely explaining it.
“I recognize that people feel like the entire system is rigged against them, and then they look at what Antifa and Black Lives Matter have gotten away with, and no, I’m sorry, you can’t go to church, but I can riot during COVID, and I’m told that that’s okay, but if we gather as a group, we’re condemned for being a bunch of conspiracy theorists who are not patriotic.” Hegseth continued.
“I don’t buy it, and I think it’s easy to fall into the universal ‘these people are evil’ approach as opposed to stepping back and understanding that they feel like if you can’t go to the ballot box, where are you gonna go, and that’s a legitimate question for people to answer today.”
But is anybody interested in actually understanding what happened? And do they recognize that the majority of people who attended the “Stop the Steal” event in D.C. for President Donald Trump were genuinely peaceful protesters?
And not just peaceful protesters, but peaceful protesters who’d shown up Wednesday not to overturn an election but simply support the president and express their anger over the insanity they’ve been forced to witness from the left, according to Hegseth.
Pelosi’s outrageous coronavirus relief bill rife with identity politics, fixated on ‘diversity’ quotas https://t.co/2FtvQaejN5
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 24, 2020
“They were there to support the president of the United States and defend our republic and stand up and say, ‘I just want a fair shake. I understand what this country represents. I see how the left is trying to tear it down. And I see one man in Donald Trump who’s been willing to fight undeterred the poisons of political correctness, exposed the media for what they are — which is a left-wing cabal completely silencing conservatives across the board,'” he said.
“So you don’t have to believe the election was stolen to know that this system has begun to undercut people who love our country. That’s what they were there for, and it manifested at the Capitol in a different way. That doesn’t mean you need to condemn the entire thing.”
The FNC discussion ended with a Fox & Friends host asking him whether the president still has a shot to win reelection in 2024.
“Of course he does!” Hegseth replied with alacrity.
“There are different ways he can handle the next two weeks, but the movement that he’s created is not over. It’s only exposed further the deepening of our divide, and we’re gonna have some serious moments coming up where people are gonna have to decide whether they’ll stand for the Constitution or not.”
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