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News Third-Party Spoiler Candidates RFK Jr. Wednesday, May 8 2024

RFK Jr.’s New Hire Downplayed Jan. 6 Because He Was There

May 08, 2024

This morning, NBC News announced the discovery of photos and videos showing RFK Jr. hire Zach Henry, who downplayed the January 6th insurrection as “Democrat misdirection,” was among the mob outside the capitol on January 6th beyond the established police lines.

Henry, whose firm was hired by RFK Jr.’s campaign, also mocked congressional staffers traumatized by the event, and called the House committee investigation into the attack a “witch hunt of patriots.”

In recent weeks, RFK Jr. has made headlines for hiring hard-right operatives and expressing sympathies towards insurrectionists. The Kennedy campaign sent a fundraising email that lamented how “J6 activists” were “sitting in a Washington DC jail cell stripped of their Constitutional liberties.” 

RFK Jr. himself claimed the riot at the U.S. Capitol, which led to the deaths of at least seven people, was not an insurrection and said he’d consider pardoning individuals who took part in overrunning police, delaying electoral certification, and ransacking the building.

Last month, the campaign’s New York-based Republican consultant was caught on video saying they shared “the No. 1 priority” of stopping President Joe Biden.

Learn more about RFK Jr.’s hire involvement on January 6th:

  • A right-wing social media influencer hired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign who previously said Jan. 6 was “Democrat misdirection” appears to have himself been on the restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol during the attack.
  • NBC News first reported that Kennedy’s campaign hired Zach Henry’s firm, Total Virality, for “influencer engagement” in March. Henry had worked as deputy communications director for Republican Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign, as well as for Blake Masters during his Senate run in Arizona.
  • Henry, as NBC News reported, had posted that Jan. 6 was “no MAGA insurrection Just more Democrat misdirection” and appears to have embraced conspiracy theories about the Capitol attack, including posting that “antifa” was behind it, which is false.
  • But photos and videos uncovered by NBC News and online “sedition hunters,” who have aided the FBI in hundreds of cases against Capitol rioters, appear to show Henry among the mob outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, beyond the previously established police lines, although it is unclear whether any of the barricades and “restricted” signs remained by the time he arrived.
  • But Henry’s presence on Capitol grounds would be significant given his previous social media posts about Jan. 6 and his new position on Kennedy’s campaign as Kennedy runs for president as an independent against former President Donald Trump.
  • Henry acknowledged in a phone call that he was in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, but declined to discuss his precise location. “I was in D.C. on January 6, but I’m not going to confirm where I was on the day or, you know, how close I got to the Capitol,” he said
  • Henry asked to see images of himself outside the Capitol before he would comment further, and NBC News provided him with screenshots. He stopped responding to further messages or phone calls.
  • Kennedy’s campaign also did not respond to a request for comment.
  • Henry was the communications director for the Arizona Republican Party from 2019 until late January 2021 and appears to have been behind the party’s official Twitter account, including when it posted tweets in early December 2020 asking followers whether they were ready to give up their lives to keep Trump in office, reposting a tweet by “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander.
  • On Jan. 6, 2021, Henry appeared to be posting to the @AZGOP accounts, this time from Washington. The account posted an image of Raheem Kassam, a far-right influencer who posted misinformation in the aftermath of Trump’s election loss. Kassam was livestreaming at the time the photo was taken, and a man whom online sleuths identified as Henry by running known images of Henry against a database of videos from Jan. 6 is seen on Kassam’s livestream talking about the @AZGOP account. Kassam encouraged his followers to follow the account, which he called “spicy.” The man the sleuths identified as Henry was wearing a brown hoodie that matches one Henry wore in a photo posted to his own Facebook account a few years earlier.
  • Later, the man identified as Henry was captured in photos and on video on the restricted grounds of the Capitol. That night, the @AZGOP account posted video from the restricted grounds of the Capitol and also posted video that shows the mob taking over the inauguration platform and using police barricades to climb a staircase leading to the place where the Capitol was first breached. Online investigators found another open-source video that shows the man identified as Henry recording the same moment that was posted to the @AZGOP account.
  • The video posted by the AZGOP account syncs up with the third-party video of the man who appears to be Henry: First he pans slowly to the right, then abruptly to the left, and then he does a clockwise 360-degree spin.
  • Sleuths also identified Capitol surveillance video, previously released in connection with a Jan. 6 case, that features the same man. Other open-source videos show the man identified as Henry still wearing the brown hoodie and an American flag mask leaving the Capitol grounds.
  • In 2022 he posted on his own account a shortened version of the video that was originally posted by @AZGOP. The post echoed the conspiracy theory that “antifa” was behind the pro-Trump mob’s attack.

Read the entire article on NBC News.

Published: May 8, 2024 | Last Modified: May 15, 2024

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