Right-wing elected officials and media personalities have repeatedly dismissed the severity of the January 6 insurrection, when a mob of pro-Trump extremists, motivated by the former President's lies about the 2020 election, stormed the United States Capitol to prevent congressional certification of then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Republican lawmakers have absurdly claimed the siege wasn't violent and have even likened the deadly riots to "a normal tourist visit."
They've also continued to defend the hundreds of people arrested in connection with the riots, many of whom are still being held in confinement.
In a recent town hall appearance, far-right Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina was asked about these arrested insurrectionists.
"Political hostages! So this is something we are trying to figure everything out about. ... The big problem is we don't actually know where all the political prisoners are. And so if we were to actually be able to go and try and bust them out — and let me tell you, the reason why they're taking these political prisoners is because they're trying to make an example, because they don't want to see the mass protests going on in Washington."
Another spectator asked when Cawthorn was "going to call us to Washington again," to which the Congressman replied:
"We are actively working on that one. We have a few plans in motion I can't make public right now, but this is something that we're working on. There are a lot of Republicans who don't want to talk about this."
Cawthorn also repeated the fantasy that Biden wasn't legitimately elected—the same lie that led to the riots in the first place.
His comments were panned across social media for embracing calls to violence.
Some called on the FBI and the Justice Department to intervene.
Cawthorn warned there would be "bloodshed" if elections "continue to be rigged," as he falsely claimed.