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Far-right Proud Boys leader condemns Capitol rioters but says he 'won't cry' about politicians

Gino Spocchia
·2-min read
<p>Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right Proud Boys group, in an interview with CNN</p> (CNN)

Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right Proud Boys group, in an interview with CNN


Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has condemned the rioters who besieged the US Capitol, but will not “cry” about lawmakers who came under attack on the day.

Mr Tarrio, who was arrested two days before some members of the Proud Boys – and other Trump supporters – rioted at the US Capitol, told CNN that lawmakers did not need sympathy after the attack.

The remarks come despite concerns among members of Congress that they were targets of those who broke into the complex on 6 January, citing baseless claims the 2020 election was “stolen”.

Mr Tarrio told CNN’s Sara Sidner in an interview published on Friday the crowds “shouldn’t have breached the Capitol with violence”, but there was no sympathy for members of Congress who were seen cowering.

"I'm not gonna cry about people who don't give a crap about their constituents. I'm not going to sympathise with them," Mr Tarrio said.

Read more: The CPAC crowd will hail Trump for the mess he has created – and the prospect leaves me furious

Then, asked by Ms Sidner about a social media post in which he shared an image of members of Congress cowering during the attack, the Proud Boys leader admitted he “was celebrating”.

“And I’ll tell you, I was celebrating and I will celebrate the moment the government does fear the people,” Mr Tarrio said, while adding that he was unaware “why they [lawmakers] were cowering or anything”.

The CNN reporter added: "They are still Americans, they are still human beings who felt that their lives were in danger. How can you not feel any sympathy or any empathy towards them like that?"

Mr Tarrio replied: "I'm not going to worry about people that their only worry in life is to be re-elected.”

The Proud Boys leader’s remarks come despite members of the far-right group – which authorities in Canada recently classed as a terrorist organisation – being among the more than 300 individuals who have been arrested and charged in connection to the Capitol riot on 6 January.

Those arrested include 30 year-old Ethan Nordean, who allegedly describes himself as the “sergeant of arms” of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys, and 34 year-old Nicholas Ochs, the founder of the far-right group’s Hawaii chapter.

Investigations by the FBI suggest that Mr Nordean and several other Proud Boys took part in the riot as a possible act of revenge against police for the arrest of Mr Tarrio, and the stabbing of a member at anti-election protest in December.

Mr Tarrio, meanwhile, was revealed to have been an informer for the FBI in the past, raising concerns that the group had organised the assault on the Capitol in advance.

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