Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy falsely suggested Wednesday that the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by hundreds of Donald Trump supporters was somehow orchestrated by federal agents, echoing a pervasive conspiracy theory on the far right.
“Why am I the only person on this stage at least who can say that Jan. 6 now does look like it was an inside job?” Ramaswamy asked at the GOP presidential debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The claim from the conspiracy-curious candidate drew no pushback from the debate moderators or his fellow presidential candidates.
Many Republicans have sought to obfuscate the harrowing events that took place on Jan. 6, 2021, falsely claiming that the people who stormed the Capitol building were peaceful, that they were secretly leftists, or that they were undercover FBI agents.
Last month, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) even suggested that federal agents disguised themselves as Trump supporters on Jan. 6. He later walked back his comments when pressed by HuffPost reporter Arthur Delaney.
The theory that federal agents were somehow in on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was refuted by FBI Director Chris Wray at a hearing before Congress last month.
“If somebody is asking or suggesting whether the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was part of some operation orchestrated by FBI sources or FBI agents or both, the answer is emphatically not,” Wray said.