Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, criticized former President Donald Trump on Sunday for “using the word.pledges” describing supporters arrested in connection with the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, saying there was “no comparison” between their arrest and the plight of those held hostage by the terrorist group Hamas on October 7. Israel.
At an event in Iowa last week, Trump said President Joe Biden should “release the J6 hostages. They have suffered,” he uses the abbreviation of January 6. “I call them hostages,” he said. “Some call them prisoners. I call them collateral. Release J6 hostages, Co. Let them go, Joe. You can do it very easily, Joe.
On NBC News’ “Meet the Press” Sunday, moderator Kristen Welker asked Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who recently traveled to the Middle East with other lawmakers as part of efforts to secure the release of the remaining American hostages. the former president’s characterization of the January 6 rioters worries him.
“This is happening in this context because we have American hostages all over the world being held against their will, and especially if you look at the innocent people who were attacked and kidnapped on October 7,” Ernst said. “We are approaching 100 days. These are the people who are taken away. They are kept in tunnels with terrorists, they are tortured, abused, they are not given medicine. So if we equate the two, there is no comparison.”
“Bails are bails,” he said. “I would certainly ask to speak to any of their families and see the anguish and pain of not knowing if their loved one is dead or alive. There is a very clear difference.”
Trump’s statements also caused criticism from the families of those held hostage by Hamas. The former president additionally raised Possible amnesty for January 6 rioters.
When asked whether he would be against amnesty for those convicted of participating in the riots on Sunday, January 6, Ernst answered: “I am not against it. This is the authority of the president.”
After Welker noted that hundreds of January 6 rioters had pleaded guilty to crimes related to the Capitol attack, Ernst reiterated that he had not said he would support pardoning them, but that it was the president’s prerogative to do so.
“We’ve seen many presidents pardon many others over the years. So if Donald Trump chooses to do that as the next president of the United States, that will be his decision.”
Most of the suspected rioters, many charged with treason, were released pending trial. Most of those who remain in prison have pleaded guilty to crimes or been convicted by a jury.