Former President Donald Trump on Thursday called the people held captive in the January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol “hostages,” in his latest move during a campaign rally to embrace his followers involved in the uprising.
“I call them ‘6-E hostages’, not prisoners. I call them hostages; that’s what happened. And it’s a shame,” Trump said at the Houston rally. At the start of the event, Trump stood in salute as a song performed by men who were incarcerated for their role in the attack played. Trump himself collaborated on the creation of the song “6-E Prison Choir”.
The unrest is an attempt to reverse Trump’s election loss to Democratic President Joe Biden, who is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024. He continues to falsely claim that it is the result of fraud.
The song, “Justice for All,” was released on several streaming platforms in March. It shows Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and inmates singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the United States’ national anthem.
Trump has promoted the song before, but his use of the word “hostage” marked his latest effort to portray those involved in the attack as martyrs. Trump himself has tried to paint the four criminal charges against him as partisan proceedings, making the message central to his 2024 presidential campaign.
More than 1,000 people have been charged in connection with the attack on the Congress headquarters. Four officers died during the riot, and five policemen died later, some by suicide.