CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale said former President Donald Trump is "deranged" following his blatant lie that Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi was responsible for the insurrection of January 6, 2021, the day a mob of his supporters attacked the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 general election had been stolen.
In remarks to reporters on Thursday, Trump said he thinks the attack "was an insurrection caused by Nancy Pelosi," an absurd lie that comes even as he continues to deny the event was an insurrection at all amid Supreme Court arguments on whether to allow him on the presidential ballot in states that disqualified him for violating constitutional provisions on insurrection.
Dale emphasized that the attack on the Capitol was orchestrated by a mob of pro-Trump supporters who were incited by Trump himself, discrediting Trump's attempt to shift blame onto Pelosi. He clarified that Pelosi had actively sought to "protect the Capitol" by attempting to "summon National Guard troops."
And he did not hold back in his assessment of Trump's lies:
“That’s an insane statement. That’s beyond fact-check false. That is completely deranged.”
“This was a mob of pro-Trump supporters called to town, urged to be wild by Trump himself. Nancy Pelosi tried to protect the Capitol, tried to summon National Guard troops. Completely, absolute bonkers nonsense.”
You can hear what Dale said in the video below.
Dale's remarks came after Trump not only falsely blamed Pelosi for the insurrection but also repeated inaccurate claims about the absence of guns during the riot.
Dale refuted Trump's assertion that "no guns" were present during the insurrection, noting that contrary to Trump's claim, there were individuals arrested for carrying firearms on January 6:
“There were, in fact, guns. We may not ever get a complete list of how many guns were there, because most of the rioters were permitted to go home without arrest that day, but some people were arrested with guns.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi's spokesperson, Aaron Bennett, responded to Trump's accusations, saying that regardless of "what unhinged lies Trump spews about the insurrection he instigated, as numerous independent fact-checkers have confirmed, Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination.”
Social media users were quick to condemn Trump's blatant lie.
Trump, who on the day of the insurrection urged his supporters to "fight like hell" to keep him in office, previously falsely asserted that Pelosi could have or should have done more to prevent the attack. However, the responsibility for security lies not with Pelosi but with the United States Capitol Police and its board, which can request help from federal as well as Washington, D.C. authorities.
While there were numerous warnings about the possibility of an attack, the Capitol Police planned only for a free speech demonstration and turned down offers of assistance from the Pentagon on two separate occasions.
Three days prior to the attack, the Pentagon had suggested deploying the National Guard. On the day of the attack, as the mob proceeded to attack the Capitol, the Pentagon suggested bringing in agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Capitol Police denied both offers of assistance, which ultimately handicapped the force's ability to contain the threat.
Aides and allies of the former President had pleaded with him to call for an end to the violence but Trump initially resisted sending in the National Guard even as rioters grew progressively more violent.
In fact, Trump's refusal to respond, widely perceived as further evidence that he not only encouraged but ultimately endorsed the attack, forced Vice President Mike Pence to take the lead on the decision to mobilize the National Guard.