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GOP lawmakers' fiery language under more scrutiny after deadly Capitol riot

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.9%. 2 min read.

Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Some GOP lawmakers' speeches helped set the tone for Capitol riot. Now that rhetoric is drawing blowback from colleagues.

(CNN)As he fired up a crowd of Trump supporters gathered at Arizona's state capitol last month, Rep. Paul Gosar falsely assured them that the election results could still be overturned.

Ali Alexander, a leader of the "Stop the Steal" group, said in several Periscope livestream videos last month that he planned the rally that preceded the riot in conjunction with Gosar and two other congressional Republicans, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Andy Biggs of Arizona, as CNN first reported last week.

Like Trump, who said Tuesday that his remarks at the rally, when he urged supporters to "fight like hell," were "totally appropriate," Brooks has denied responsibility for the riot, telling a radio show host the day after the attack that he "absolutely" had no regrets.

He tagged or replied to Alexander in more than two dozen tweets since Election Day, sharing false rumors about mysteriously appearing ballots and deleted vote counts, and spoke at the December 19 rally at the Arizona state capitol that Alexander organized.

"Biden should concede," Gosar tweeted on the morning of last week's congressional vote, sharing a photo of the pro-Trump protesters gathered in front of the Washington Monument.

At the Arizona Stop the Steal rally with Gosar, Alexander played a video that he said Biggs, the chair of the conservative Freedom Caucus, had sent for the crowd.

A Biggs spokesperson told CNN that the congressman recorded the video at the request of Gosar's staff, and had never worked with Alexander.

And speaking at the same rally as Brooks and Trump, Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, another newly elected member, told the crowd that "the Republicans are hiding and not fighting" and "they are trying to silence your voice. "

Two Democrats have introduced a resolution to censure Brooks for his comments at the rally, and others have argued for expelling Gosar and other congressional Republicans who backed efforts to overturn the election.

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