Republican Rep. Alex Mooney said it was “insulting” to describe the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, as a “domestic terrorist attack” and called it a “protest.”
“I think that’s insulting, it was a protest,” the West Virginia lawmaker said in an interview with MetroNews’ “Talkline” on Thursday.
The host asked Mooney why he didn’t support a bill in May last year to form an independent commission to investigate the unrest.
The bill, which was to establish a “National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex and for Other Purposes,” passed the House of Representatives in May 2021 but was blocked in the Senate. .
The text of the bill referred to the riot as an “internal terrorist attack on Capitol Hill.”
House Democrats set up a select committee to investigate the attack, nearly six months after unrest left many injured and four dead.
“It was a protest, that’s what it was. Some people got in and the law needs to be enforced for those who broke it,” Mooney said. “I don’t think it was a domestic terrorist attack.”
The comments were made by Mooney during a joint interview with Rep. David McKinley, one of 35 Republicans who voted to investigate the attack.
The two Republicans will face off in the May 10 primary for a new House district in the mountain state.
McKinley said everyone who voted for the bill wanted an investigation into the events of January 6, but refused to call all the rioters terrorists.
“Not all the people there, they were not domestic terrorists. I do not care if [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] I wanted to put that description,” he added.
Donald Trump, who has praised Mooney, called McKinley a RINO, or “Republican in name only,” for voting for the investigation and for last year’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, of the that West Virginia will receive billions of dollars for various projects. related to broadband expansion and road improvements.
The state legislature last year passed a congressional map to have Charles Town resident Mooney and Wheeling native McKinley in the same district.
West Virginia’s House delegation lost one of its three lawmakers following a 2020 census, causing the two representatives to battle for a seat that includes areas from their two current districts.