Former President Trump’s falsehoods surrounding the deadly Capitol insurrection he incited are still going strong within the Republican Party.
About half of Republicans buy into the false narratives that Trump and his Republican allies in Congress peddled that downplay the severity of the Capitol attack earlier this year, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday.
A mere 28% of Republicans surveyed in the Reuters/Ipsos poll indicated that Trump is at least partly to blame for the deadly Capitol insurrection. They believe falsehoods such as the breaching of the Capitol largely being a non-violent protest or that left-wing activists who were “trying to make Trump look bad” were behind the attack.
Fifty-one percent of Republicans indicated that they strongly or somewhat agree that the people at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were mostly peaceful and abided by the law. Fifty-five percent said that they believe “violent left-wing protesters (were) trying to make Trump look bad” that day.
Six in 10 Republicans believe the big lie pushed by Trump and his allies that the November presidential election was “stolen” from the former president due to unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud. The same percentage of Republicans are in favor of Trump running for office again in 2024.
The striking findings in the poll come amid Trump and his allies continuing to peddle false claims denying that the then-president incited his supporters before the deadly Capitol insurrection. Hours before the attack, Trump told his supporters at a rally to “fight like hell” on the day of the joint session of Congress ratifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Footage of the Capitol attack showed hundreds of Trump supporters smashing windows and climbing walls to break into the Capitol building amid lawmakers voting to certify Biden’s election victory. Trump supporters, which included members of extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, visibly wore Trump campaign merchandise and flags.
But Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have worked to push their dangerous spin on reality, with the former president taking to Fox News to misleadingly declare that the insurrectionists posed “zero threat” and Trump loyalists such as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) falsely claiming a lack of violence on the Senate side during the attack.
Even 12 House Republicans voted against a resolution honoring Capitol Police officers who worked the day of the Capitol insurrection, after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) tried rewriting history in a competing bill that failed to acknowledge that the death of three officers on Jan. 6 were directly tied to the attack.
Reuters/Ipsos conducted its poll between March 30-31. 1,005 adults — which includes 379 Republicans, 451 Democrats and 119 independents — were surveyed. The poll is accurate within 3.5 percentage points.