Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said national media coverage of the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol will be "nauseating" and he won't watch it.
"This is their Christmas, January 6, OK? They are going to take this and milk this for anything they could to try to be able to smear anyone who ever supported Donald Trump," DeSantis said at a news conference, referring to the New York- and D.C.-based media in answer to a reporter's question, according to New York Times reporter Patricia Mazzei.
One year ago Thursday, a riotous mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters trespassed at the United States Capitol, breaching security and attacking police officers in an attempt to disrupt congressional proceedings to certify President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory in the 2020 presidential election. One person, Ashli Babbit, was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer during the riot after she tried to enter the U.S. House Chamber. One policeman, Brian Sicknick, died on Jan. 7 after a physical altercation with rioters the day before. Months after the riot, D.C.'s chief medical examiner ruled that Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes.
Two other police officers took their own lives in the days following the riot. Two Trump supporters died of natural causes during the riot from hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and one woman's death was ruled an accident after she appeared to be stampeded to death as the mob surged into the Capitol building.
More than 700 people have been arrested after the riot, with many rioters being held in D.C. jails as they await trial. Though many news outlets have labeled the rioters "insurrectionists," none of the accused have been charged with sedition or insurrection.
Speaking Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris compared the riot to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the attack on Pearl Harbor, foreign attacks on America that claimed the lives of thousands of people and each started a U.S. war.
When Biden spoke, he squarely blamed Trump's refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election for the riot, accusing his predecessor of having "created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election."
DeSantis said the events of Jan. 6 would be politicized to stir up animosity toward Trump supporters.
"I just look back and compare when I was in Congress. One event that we faced was the attempted assassination of Republican members of Congress on the baseball game. I actually was on the field," the governor recounted, referring to the 2017 congressional baseball shooting, during which House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot and severely injured.
"If you do not have the Capitol Police there, you probably would have a dozen people assassinated. That was like a one-day, two-day story. That was not something that the Capitol-based press wanted to talk about. Why? Because it totally undercut their preferred narratives," DeSantis said.
He went on to say that anyone who committed crimes during the riot must be held accountable. "But let's just be clear here: When they try to act like this is something akin to the September 11 attacks, that is an insult to the people that were going into those buildings. And it's an insult to people when you say it's an insurrection and then a year later, nobody has been charged with that."
"I think it's going to end up being just a politicized Charlie Foxtrot today. I don't expect anything good to come out of anything that Pelosi and the gang are doing. I don't expect anything from the corporate press to be enlightening. I think it's going to be nauseating, quite frankly, and I'm not going to do it," DeSantis said.
He opined that Floridians don't care about the riot and said his focus will be on issues voters care about, naming inflation, gas prices, jobs, and education as his priorities.
"I wish the Congress of the United States would be concerned about those pressing issues as well," DeSantis added. "Sadly, they're not. They're going to use this to be able to get more TV time, and some of them, who are probably the most loud, will end up probably vacationing in Florida at some point as well."