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White House: Trump calling those convicted on Jan. 6 charges 'hostages' is 'grotesque'

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre slammed former President Trump for labeling as “hostages” those who have been convicted of charges related to the 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Jean-Pierre was asked during a press gaggle on Air Force One on Monday what President Biden had to say about Trump’s recent remarks calling Jan. 6 defendants “hostages.” She pointed to Biden’s speech on Friday that attacked the former president for embracing the extremism that took place during the riots at the Capitol.

She said that it was “grotesque” to describe those convicted of crimes related to actions they took that day as hostages and to compare them to people who were captured by Hamas militants as hostages in Israel on Oct. 7.

“I’ve seen American veterans note that how grotesque and offensive to compare those convicted of assaulting cops and attempting to overthrow the American government that veterans, that veterans have died defending innocent Americans,” she said. 

“It is grotesque to make those types of comparisons, and the president, you know, spoke very forcefully of how he saw January 6, and laid out there’s a choice that we have to make here,” she added.

During a campaign stop in Iowa on Saturday, the third anniversary of the attacks on the Capitol, Trump called on Biden to release those being held on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks.

“They ought to release the J6 hostages. They’ve suffered enough,” he said Saturday. “Release the J6 hostages, Joe. Release ’em, Joe. You can do it real easy, Joe.”

Trump previously referred to those jailed over their actions during the Capitol riot as “hostages” in November.

“Well, thank you very much, and you know what that was,” he said at the time. “I call them the ‘J6 hostages,’ not prisoners. I call them the hostages, what’s happened. And you know, it’s a shame.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) echoed Trump’s language Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I have concerns about the treatment of January 6th hostages,” Stefanik said when asked if those who stormed the Capitol should be held responsible to the full extent of the law. “We have a rule in Congress of oversight over our treatment of prisoners. And I believe that we’re seeing the weaponization of the federal government against not just President Trump, but we’re seeing it against conservatives.”

Source: The Hill

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