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'I had my pistol in my car': GOP congressman considered bringing gun to Capitol on January 6th

On Thursday, hours after CNN hosted a town hall with former President Donald Trump, the network interviewed Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) about the Jan. 6 attack and Trump's refusal to acknowledge he lost to President Joe Biden.

During the town hall, the 2024 presidential hopeful continued to push 2020 election fraud lies — though they have been debunked numerous times.

Journalist Aaron Rupar shared a clip of Mast's interview, writing, "CNN follows up on the Trump town hall by interviewing GOP Rep. Brian Mast, an election denier who pushes the big lie with impunity during his interview."

The Florida GOPer was asked, "[Trump's] supporters, many of which have been prosecuted, stormed the U.S. Capitol that you were in. So do you understand why there would be some need to look back, given that he's the likely Republican nominee at this point?"

Mast replied, "If you really want to rehash the issue, you're talking about a situation where the full weight and force of the federal government was exercised to subvert an election. Whether it was with social media companies, like Twitter and others. Whether it was to go out there and get people that were former military generals to go out there and sign letters to say this was Russian disinformation."

He continued, "Kaitlan asked him about this for 30 minutes so he's not gonna run away from it. That's why he's my choice for president. He doesn't back down from a debate...I'm not gonna read a script. This is how I actually feel. That's why Americans love him."

Moments later, the congressman talked about why he considered bringing his gun into the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.

Rupar shared another clip from the interview, saying, "Mast says that on January 6 he considered bringing his gun to the Capitol."

"I was with my two oldest sons, who are now 13 and 1, in my office. No staff. I think I had one staff member because Capitol police said 'Hey, please everybody keep your staffs at home.'"

He continued, "I had my pistol in my car. So with my family in my office, having just left the Capitol floor, my pistol in my vehicle — one of my pistols in my vehicle — I sat there and said 'Should I go down and get my pistol out of the car?'"

The congressman emphasized, "And I decided, 'No,' I wasn't worried about it in that instance. I wasn't worried about what I was seeing based upon what I got to see play out before my eyes."

Many Twitter users voiced their disapproval of platforming the congressman's remarks.

David Lapan: "JD Vance before the Tr**p rally in NH, the debacle that aired last night, & then Brian Mast today -- all of whom continue to deny the facts re: the 2020 election. Why @CNN? Why give them a platform to continue to undermine our elections and democracy? Not political spin. Lies."

Rose Benson: "To fight with or against America? (GOP so you have to ask)"

Rebecca Aguilar: "@CNN stop. The ship is sinking. Your journalists deserve better."

D Villela: "He was at the capitol with his family, they were protected on Jan 6, and he still denies the insurrection was violent?"

Mindful Primate: "The leadership @CNN is killing our democracy while destroying the journalistic reputation of their own network. Not sure why @Acosta@jaketapper et al. don't resign in protest."

David Fischer: "@CNN and @kaitlancollins are making news for the wrong reasons - they look ridiculous. Trump's lies and insults weren't news - certainly not unexpected. Trump did the same old shtick. And then CNN let another election liar on the air with no push back."

SparksMom53: "I guess he changed his mind when he realized this was just an extremely well-attended, normal tourist event, huh?"

Susan Bordson: "In auditing pro Trump groups, it's evident their belief that U.S. elections are corrupt is firm. Trump's messaging (reinforced by allies) that our elections can't be trusted has been HIGHLY effective, and our legacy newsrooms have been INEFFECTIVE in countering this impression"

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