Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) “Applauded” the Jan.6 insurgency on the United States Capitol last year as fellow lawmakers feared for their lives, a former aide to the minority leader said parliamentarian Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Brooks had urged supporters of then-President Donald Trump at a rally at the National Mall just before storming the Capitol, telling them to be prepared to make a “blood” sacrifice, just as the Americans did it during the Revolution. He also told them to walk on Capitol Hill and said it was time for “the patriots to start taking names and kicking ass.” He was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time.
Later, when a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, lawmakers upstairs in the House âfeared for their lives. The Republican membersâ¦ men crying in the locker room for their safety, âformer McCarthy assistant Ryan O’Toole told Jake Tapper on CNN Thursday.
âAs we escaped from the bedroom – what looked like gunshots – to the secure location, I think people were still scaredâ¦ and didn’t know what was going on,â O’Toole added. , who is now deputy director of policy to Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), deputy chair of the special House committee investigating the riot.
Not everyone had the same attitude, noted O’Toole.
âMo Brooks, for example, was happy,â he added. âHe applauded the fact that the 117th Congress had started this way. This was to the dismay of the others in the room.
Brooks denied in a statement to the Alabama political reporter that he applauded the attack.
He told AL.com that O’Toole’s account was “total bovine droppings” and suggested it was intended to hurt his campaign for the Senate this year. He added that O’Toole’s stint at Cheney staff “says a lot about why he lied.” Cheney has been criticized by fellow Republicans for not accepting Trump’s lies about stealing the 2020 election and for berating the former president for instigating the mob attack last year based on these lies.
O’Toole told Tapper he changed employers because he wanted to work for someone who is “loyal to the Constitution.” He said McCarthy’s leadership strategy “is dictated by the more extreme wings of the party.”
Brooks also pointed out in a message to AL.com that he previously called for prosecuting anyone involved in the insurgency who “broke the law.”
Ali Alexander, the key figure at the Stop the Steal rally on January 6, said Brooks was one of three Republican Congressmen who helped him plan the rally – which Brooks denied. Alexander testified before the House select committee last month.
Check out O’Toole’s full interview in the video clip at the top. He talks about the fear on the house floor on January 6 and Brooks ‘”cheers” at 1:55 am Brooks’ speech at the pre-insurgency rally can be seen below: