Months after former President Donald Trump's lies about the 2020 election prompted a mob of his extremist supporters to storm the United States Capitol, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing to learn more about the delayed response to the violence on January 6.
Republican committee members continued to dismiss the severity of the violence that day, with some insisting that the insurrectionists were simply "patriots" and others defending Ashli Babbitt, the conspiracy theorist who died while trying to infiltrate the House chamber at the height of the insurrection.
But few of these dismissals stood out more than Congressman Ralph Norman's (R-SC) who questioned whether the mob was made of Trump supporters at all.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) on Capitol insurrectionists: “I don’t know who did the poll to say that they were Trump su… https://t.co/1dDNPc5oiB— The Recount (@The Recount) 1620839728.0
"'A mob of Trump supporters breached the steps.' I don't know who did a poll that it's Trump supporters. You had the media saying the same thing ... I don't know who did the poll to say that they were Trump supporters."
Norman is right that there was no polling of the insurrectionists to determine their political leanings, but that's largely because that data was readily available.
Before and during the riots, the outside of the Capitol was a sea of MAGA caps, Trump flags, and other pro-Trump paraphernalia.
Cell phone data shows Trump supporters made their way to the Capitol following a nearby Trump rally, where he told them explicitly to march on the Capitol. Trump supporters livestreamed their invasion of the Capitol, and even bragged about it. After the hundreds of subsequent arrests, numerous people charged said they believed they were doing the right thing because of the former President's words.
People found Norman's claim absurd.
We don't know if they were Trump supporters b/c no one polled the people who went to the Trump rally and were carry… https://t.co/KwAm219VKf— Napp Nazworth (@Napp Nazworth) 1620849900.0
We saw it with our own eyes! You are an embarrassment to SC. That does not need a poll, either, @RalphNorman https://t.co/rLDZSE9HOT— Helen R (@Helen R) 1620847934.0
Hard to say if @RalphNorman is incredibly stupid, or if he thinks his supporters are. Maybe both? https://t.co/irI8KIA2rj— Elliot Harris (@Elliot Harris) 1620844186.0
They did. They were literally ALL wearing Trump gear, waving Trump flags, and talking to everyone they could about… https://t.co/dqwDtVl6Ef— SGF Vaccine Buzz (@SGF Vaccine Buzz) 1620843544.0
No poll needed. We all SAW IT ON TV. They were wearing his T-shirts’ and carrying his freaking flags https://t.co/nD2siXBZzd— momoffour#madaboutlies (@momoffour#madaboutlies) 1620842573.0
People soon reminded him what the unrest of that day looked like.
@therecount How will we ever know? https://t.co/RaoSRfCAKp— joedirtinthehole (@joedirtinthehole) 1620840031.0