Former President Trump's remarks about the "loving" crowd that gathered for his speech before the Capitol insurrection are "insulting," Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell told the House select committee.
"It is a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create this monstrosity. I'm still recovering from those 'hugs and kisses' that day that he claimed that so many rioters — terrorists — were assaulting us that day," Gonell said in response to a question from GOP Rep. Liz Cheney.
"To me, it is insulting, it is demoralizing because everything that we did was to prevent everyone in the capitol from getting hurt," the officer said.
Gonell said instead of telling his supporters clearly to stop their behavior from the beginning, he "egged them" on to keep fighting.
"I was in the lower west terrace fighting alongside these officers, and all of them (rioters), all of them were telling us 'Trump sent us,'" Gonell said.
"It was not Antifa, it was not or Black Lives [Matter], it was not the FBI; it was his supporters that he sent them over to the Capitol that day. And he could have done a lot of things. One of them was to tell them to stop. He talks about sacrificing, sacrifices; well now, the only thing that he has sacrificed is the institutions of the country and the country itself only for his ego," Gonell said.