Anderson Cooper: Capitol riot 'worst single act of political violence since the Civil War'

Anderson Cooper: Capitol riot 'worst single act of political
violence since the Civil War' 1

CNN host Anderson Cooper raised eyebrows Friday night when he declared that the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was the worst act of political violence the country has seen since the Civil War.

Mr. Cooper was discussing Facebook‘s ongoing ban against former President Donald Trump, whom Mr. Cooper said “incited” the attack during which an angry mob of the former president’s supporters breached the Capitol and temporarily halted the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.

“A hundred and fifty days since the worst single act of political violence since the Civil War, and the man who incited it is crying about being kept off social media,” Mr. Cooper said at the beginning of his show.

“Now, before we get to that, there was a reminder today why Facebook just told him he is not welcome on the platform until at least January of 2023,” he continued. “The Justice Department came out with updated figures on cases connected to the insurrection, approximately 465 defendants now from all 50 states, more than 130 defendants charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, more than 40 charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.”

Critics of Mr. Cooper were quick to argue that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Tulsa Race Massacre, and the George Floyd riots, among others, were more destructive acts of political violence than the Capitol riot, where one person was fatally shot by police, one person died of a drug overdose, and three others, including a Capitol Police officer, succumbed to natural causes.

Facebook announced Friday it was continuing its ban on Mr. Trump until at least January 2023 after it accused him of stoking the violence that happened that day.

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“At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded,” the company said. “We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest.”

Mr. Trump responded in statement calling Facebook‘s decision an “insult.”

“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can’t take this abuse anymore!” he said.

Mr. Cooper said the ban spoke volumes of the dangers the former president posed to the public.

“Just think about that for a moment,” Mr. Cooper said. “Facebook‘s decision on reinstating a former chief executive of the most powerful nation the world has ever seen will hinge on whether he is in the company’s judgment literally a threat to the public. 

“And how did the man who was bounced for inciting violence with his election lies respond?” he asked. “Well, with more of the same.”

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