Bill Barr says suppression of speech, loss of faith in media contributed to Capitol mob

Bill Barr says suppression of speech, loss of faith in media contributed to Capitol mob
Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP
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Former Attorney General William Barr has identified three factors that he believes contributed to the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including the suppression of free speech and Americans losing faith in the media and election integrity.

During an interview with British television station ITV, Barr was asked what he thought of the riot and its causes. In previous remarks, the former Attorney General described Trump’s actions as a “betrayal of his office and supporters” and stated that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.” 

In the ITV interview, Barr said that questions about the integrity of the election and manufactured claims of widespread voting fraud were the “final straw” that precipitated the riot. 

“I think that that was the thing that precipitated the riots on the Hill,” Barr said. “Now, I think it’s always important to remember that most people are exercising their First Amendment rights, but there’s a substantial group, obviously, that went far beyond that and broke into the Capitol and tried to interfere with the proceedings and that’s unacceptable.”

“I’m sad to, but not surprised in a way to see, the kind of violence we saw in Capitol Hill,” he added. “I consider it despicable and I was not Attorney General, I had already left office when that occurred, but I felt that they should move very quickly to disperse that regardless of which side of the political spectrum is involved.”

“We just cannot tolerate violence, interfering with the processes of government,” said Barr. 

Asked if he believed President Trump incited the violence, Barr replied, “I’ll leave it to the people who are looking into the genesis of this to say whether incitement was involved.”

Barr identified three factors that contributed to what many are now describing as an insurrection, stating, “I don’t know if I’d use the word ‘inevitable,’ but I think that when you start suppressing free speech, when people lose confidence in the media, and also when they lose faith in the integrity of elections, you’re going to have some people resort to violence.”

Prior to the presidential election, social media networks suppressed conversation and the sharing of a New York Post report that shined a light on Hunter Biden’s involvement with foreign entities, including Ukrainian energy conglomerate Burisma, and the Chinese government. The story was ignored by much of the mainstream media due to its potential to damage Biden’s election chances.

NPR described not covering the Hunter Biden exposé as follows: “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”

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