Update (1300ET): In an exclusive interview with The Federalist on Thursday, former president Trump echoed Roger Stone's thoughts, characterizing the planned Sept. 18 rally at the U.S. Capitol as a “setup” meant to denigrate Republican voters regardless of what transpires.
“On Saturday, that’s a setup,” Trump said, referring to the rally.
“If people don’t show up they’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of spirit.’ And if people do show up they’ll be harassed.”
Trump added that the corporate media’s kid gloves treatment of Biden was proof that the country’s news media was corrupt and untrustworthy.
“We don’t have a free press anymore. We have nothing close to a free press. We have a very corrupted press,” he said.
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Update (1055ET): Amid all the Washington fearmongering over this weekend' s rally, Roger Stone made an appearance on RT last night to warn that "it's a setup," advising protesters to "stay away."
"This is called agitprop. I don’t know a single person in the MAGA movement who is going. It’s a setup.
Here’s my suggestion.
The people who will be there, will all be working for the government.
Nice try. I’m not going.
The danger is obvious. There’s so many unanswered questions about January 6th. Now they’re trying to recreate it.”
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As The Epoch Times' Katabella Roberts detailed earlier, the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) have asked the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide support from the National Guard ahead of a demonstration planned for Sept. 18, USCP said on Wednesday.
Officials did not provide details on the potential number of National Guard troops that could be deployed, however Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters Wednesday that “it is not an exorbitant ask,” adding that “it’s not of a particularly large size or major capability. I think it’s more in the form of some manpower support.”
“We have received a request from Capitol Police for some assistance for this weekend’s protests, scheduled protests. I’m not going to detail the specific request,” Kirby said.
“We’re doing the analysis, we are in receipt of it, we’re analyzing it, and if it can be validated and supported, we’ll do that and we’ll look at the sourcing inside the department as to what’s most appropriate.”
It comes as organizers expect hundreds of people to attend the “Justice for J6” event on Saturday, which is expected to take place in Union Square between 1st and 3rd streets at 12 p.m., according to the group’s website.
The rally is being organized by Look Ahead America, a nonprofit group that is seeking to release hundreds of people who were charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol incident.
It could prove to be the largest gathering since then.
Over 600 people have been charged with a range of crimes, from misdemeanors to serious felony charges including assault, obstruction of an official proceeding, or conspiracy, for their alleged actions in early January at the U.S. Capitol, when protesters and rioters breached the building, interrupting a joint session of Congress.
Protesters walk around in the Rotunda after breaching the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Many of those charged remain in jail pending trial, including those who aren’t accused of carrying out acts of violence.
Douglas Jensen (C) speaks to U.S. Capitol Police officers inside the building in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Five people eventually died while several police officers later took their own lives.
Look Ahead America, which says it advocates for disaffected Americans who are ignored by both political parties and the government, noted Saturday’s protests would be peaceful.
The group’s Executive Director Matt Braynard said the purpose of the protests is “for patriotic Americans to educate their state legislators on the power they have to give instructions to their state’s federal legislators.”
“We have composed a draft resolution a state legislature can pass to inform US Senators and Representative [sic] to oppose the tyrannical and inhumane treatment of the January 6 political prisoners who have been targeted by the Department of Justice and the FBI,” Braynard, a former Trump campaign operative, said in a statement on the group’s website.
Earlier this week, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger announced that protective fencing will be put back up ahead of the rally.
“The fence will go up a day or two before, and if everything goes well, it will come down very soon after,” he said on Sept. 13. Workers began installing the fence late on Wednesday.
Manger told The Epoch Times in an email that his agency is “closely monitoring” the planned event but that he’s confident, given the changes in intelligence-gathering and sharing made after Jan. 6, that “the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.”
However, some suspect that the upcoming rally has a “very high probability of becoming a false flag event.”
“Do yourself a favor and stay away from DC on September 18,” Ron Watkins, former administrator of the imageboard website 8kun, stated in a recent post on Telegram.
Watkins, who is a strong advocate for election integrity and previously encouraged people to gather in D.C. on Jan. 6 to peacefully protest, said in a separate post, “Everyone who attends the event should be fully aware of the potential risks of their participation at this time.”