A heated exchange between Vivek Ramaswamy and a CNN town hall host has captured the internet’s attention due to the presidential candidate’s unflinching assertions that FBI agents had a hand in instigating the violence that took place during the January 6th, 2021 riots at the Capitol.
Speaking before a largely supportive audience, the former biotechnology CEO narrated how throughout his time in politics he has come to learn that the federal government lied to the American people on multiple occasions, citing the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hunter Biden laptop and Russia-Trump collusion controversies, and the “cherrypicking” of video footage presented from the riots themselves.
Before entering politics, Ramaswamy said, “If you had told me in any way that January 6th was an inside job, the subject of government entrapment, I would have told you that was crazy talk. Fringe conspiracy theory nonsense. I can tell you, having gone somewhat deep in this, it’s not.”
“We have a government [with] technology that has lied to us over the last several years,” he continued. “The reality is we know there were federal law enforcement agents in that field, we don’t know how many.”
It was at that point host Abby Phillip interrupted Ramaswamy to challenge him to produce evidence for his claims, fueling a heated back and forth.
“There is no evidence that there were federal agents in the crowd on January 6th,” Phillip shot back.
“So why when pressed before Congress they didn’t say there were none, they just couldn’t say how many there were?” the candidate asked. “We’ve seen multiple informants suggesting that there were.”
“I know this is uncomfortable, but we have to do the truth here,” he added, drawing a roar of approval from the crowd.
Since taking control of Congress, House Republicans have released the unredacted footage from J6 including hundreds of hours which were not disclosed during a select committee’s investigation into the riots. Some of these clips, Republicans claim, appear to show security forces walking some of the protestors through the building rather than restraining them.
“You know who cherrypicked? The government did. The government cherrypicked 12 hours of footage when there was 200 hours,” he continued as the crowd hung on his every word.
In his final citation, Ramaswamy spoke about the trial of three individuals who conspired to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. All were ultimately found not guilty after a judge concluded that federal authorities committed entrapment, granting them access to resources and encouraging the plot.
The presence of federal authorities on J6 has been the continued subject of fascination among conservatives who have pointed to unmarked vans captured on camera as well as figures like Ray Epps who openly encouraged violence and went years before facing prosecution. FBI Director Christopher Wray, during congressional testimony earlier this year, denied Epps was working under his direction though declined to state any activities the Bureau may have had around that day.