Testifying Monday at House Democrats’ January 6 committee, a Capitol Police Officer blamed former President Donald Trump for the assault on the Capitol and said that, “We should all go to his house and do the same thing to him.” Moments later, before responding to another question, the officer apologized for his comment.
Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, who was present at the Capitol during the riot on January 6, was asked by anti-Trump Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) to react to Trump’s claim that a “loving crowd” had attended his speech on that day.
“If that was hugs and kisses, then we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him,” Officer Gonell replied, saying that Trump “helped to create” the riot at the Capitol:
Rep. Liz Cheney: “Officer Gonell, when you think about that and share with us the vivid memory of the cruelty and the violence of the assault on that day, and then you hear former President Trump say, quote, ‘It was a loving crowd; there was a lot of love in the crowd,’ how does that make you feel?”
Sergeant Gonell: “It’s upsetting. It’s a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create, this monstrosity. I’m still recovering from those ‘hugs and kisses’ that day that he claimed that so many rioters, terrorists were assaulting us that day.
“If that was hugs and kisses, then we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him.
“To me, it’s insulting, it’s demoralizing, because everything that we did was to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt.”
Approximately four minutes later, before answering a different question, Sergeant Gonell retracted, and apologized for, his suggestion that people should go to Trump’s house:
“Before I start, by no means, am I suggesting that we will go to his house. I apologize for my outburst.”