Ted Nugent says that President Donald Trump did not incite last week's Capitol riot and has blamed the violence on Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
Last Wednesday, Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, vandalized the building and assaulted police officers. One woman was fatally shot by police and three people died of apparent medical emergencies. A Capitol police officer died after responding to the mob.
Many top political figures have accused Trump of personally inciting the attack by repeatedly intimating that his followers should take action in order to demand legislators address his baseless claims of voter fraud. At a rally preceding the riot, Trump gave an inflammatory speech, urging the crowd to go to the Capitol, "show strength" and "fight much harder."
In the wake of the attack, Twitter permanently suspended Trump's account, citing "the risk of further incitement of violence."
Nugent discussed the Capitol riot fallout during yesterday's episode of his Internet show "Spirit Campfire". The outspoken conservative rocker said (see video below): "Donald Trump did not incite violence. I read his speech over and over again. Zero inciting of any violent or criminal behavior. He wanted to make a statement, just like Martin Luther King Jr., that many, many — millions — of Americans would go to our house, the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and make the unified statement [that] we believe in Donald Trump, we believe in the good deeds he has accomplished, and that we are fearful that the tsunami of evidence of a fraudulent, corrupt, manipulated voting orgy that you just can't say there's no evidence of fraud. An election by a guy" — referring to President-elect Joe Biden — "that never campaigned, that did not get more votes than Barack Obama; he did not get more votes than President Trump. The suitcases came out, and the people that were supposed to monitor the votes were thrown out of the room; there's footage of it. [Editor's note: This claim has been debunked.] There's sworn testimony and affidavits by people who were thrown out of the voting precincts, whose job it was to [monitor the vote counting]. I could go on.
"I think everybody knows that every possible deception was applied to the recent election, and Donald Trump wanted Americans who believe that, witnessed that and know that to make a peaceful protest out of the First Amendment," he continued. "And I am convinced equally to those statements I just made that Antifa and Black Lives Matter terrorists infiltrated that peaceful protest, and they are the ones who initiated the violence. [Editor's note: This claim has also been debunked.]
"Did some overzealous Trumpsters get out of hand? I don't believe they hurt anyone; I don't believe they damaged anything. And if they did, and if I see evidence to that end, I will admit it. Nobody's pure; nobody's soul is incapable of mistakes.
"But I believe that the bizarre, maniacal scramble to shut down this president, to shut down me, to shut down [conservative social media figure] Candace Owens is the most un-American manifestation of a culture of deprivation I think I've ever seen," Nugent added.
The presidential race ended with a victory for Biden with 306 electoral votes. Biden had received nearly 81 million votes across America — the most votes cast for any presidential candidate in history — compared to more than 74 million votes for Trump.
Leading up to the 2020 election, Nugent teamed up with Donald Trump Jr. on the campaign trail.
Ted has called Trump "the greatest president in our lifetime," and believes the billionaire real estate mogul represents "the heart and soul of the best American families out there."