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New York Times editor Lauren Wolfe created a stir following two now-deleted tweets in which she questioned why “regular humans” would own zip ties.
“Do regular humans actually buy zip-ties? Have you ever bought a zip-tie? If so, what did you use it for?” Wolfe wrote in one Twitter post.
In a follow-up, she added: “I literally had no idea that there were this many people passionate about the legal use of zip ties.”
Several users, including conservative author and pundit Ben Shapiro, mocked Wolfe’s comment and question.
“Literally every regular human I know owns zip ties. This is like Pauline Kael on steroids,” he wrote.
Literally every regular human I know owns zip ties. This is like Pauline Kael on steroids. https://t.co/qEHC1uedgB
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 13, 2021
Others chimed in as well.
— KCR (@wonderclutz) January 13, 2021
Who says people at the NYT are out of touch with the common people?
— BearFlagFan (@BearFlagFan) January 13, 2021
zero surprise that this out of touch tweet is coming from a NYT editor https://t.co/1wo88czT1G
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) January 13, 2021
And what's up with all that WD-40 and duct tape?https://t.co/3Yq7aSYvsq
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) January 13, 2021
These are the people I really want to be on that Naked and Afraid show.
They will tap out as soon as they see a place that has no Starbucks or paved roads.
— Double D (@whitewaterMkII) January 13, 2021
Wolfe likely was responding to early reports that two men came under investigation by U.S. counterterrorism prosecutors after they were seen and photographed inside the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 riot dressed in tactical clothing and holding plastic zip ties of the kind used for restraining people.
The men, who were arrested a week ago, arrested retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Brock of Texas and Eric Munchel of Tennessee, charging both with illegally entering the Capitol Building as well as disorderly conduct, the Washington Post reported.
Brock told the New Yorker earlier he was the man photographed in the well of the Senate wearing a green helmet, tactical vest, and a camouflage jacket holding a white flex cuff used as a restraint by police. He was also seen leaving the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Munchel was photographed climbing over a railing in the Senate gallery carrying similar restraints.
The Post and other media outlets previously reported that the FBI suspected that at least some of the rioters were on hand to detain or even kill certain lawmakers and staffers.
But NPR reported Friday that federal officials now say there is no direct evidence that “kill/capture teams” were among the riotous mob that breached the Capitol as a joint session of Congress prepared to certify the Electoral College ballots for President-elect Joe Biden.
A day earlier, federal prosecutors in Arizona noted in a court filing against Jacob Chansley, also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” that they possessed “strong evidence” he and others sought to “capture and assassinate” elected leaders and staff.
But Michael Sherwin, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, refuted that, saying there was a “disconnect” in Arizona and at least one additional district regarding the widening probe into the incident.
“At some of those hearings, there were other prosecutors, there may be a disconnect, may be adding information that’s not directly related to what we have,” Sherwin told reporters.
Sherwin went on to note that federal investigators are still trying to determine if there was a preplanned, coordinated effort to storm the Capitol.
“There are bread crumbs of organization in terms of maybe what was taking place outside the Capitol and inside with perhaps some type of communication, with core groups of people ingressing into the Capitol and some coordinated activity of the individuals within the Capitol,” he said.
“And that is a tier-one, top priority for both the U.S. attorney’s office and federal law enforcement partners to see whether there was this overarching command and control and whether there were these organized teams that were organized to breach the Capitol,” Sherwin added, noting it will “take weeks, if not months, to find out the motivation of some of those groups.”
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