Trump espouses Ray Epps conspiracy theories about January 6 during Arizona rally

Trump espouses Ray Epps conspiracy theories about January 6 during Arizona rally
Trump espoused bogus theory that people at the Capitol riot were FBI confidential informants

Former president Donald Trump espoused a conspiracy theory that some of the people at the attempted insurrection at the US Capitol last year were FBI informants while speaking at a rally in Arizona.

Trump asked the question when speaking to a crowd at a rally in Florence as he continued to repeat his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

“Exactly how many of those present at the Capitol complex on January 6 were FBI confidential informants, agents or otherwise, working directly or indirectly with an agency of the United States government,” Mr Trump told a rally of supporters. “People want to hear this.”

Mr Trump also alluded to a debunked conspiracy theory that Ray Epps was a government agent who provoked rioters to storm the Capitol. Sen Ted Cruz questioned Federal Bureau of Investigation National Security Branch official Jill Sanborn about Mr Epps during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week.

“How about the one guy, ‘go in, go in, get in there everybody, Epps,” Mr Trump told the crowd to hollers. “Nothing happens to him. What happened with him. Nothing happened. Did any of these individuals play a role in proving or facilitating the events at the Capitol? That’s what we want to know.”

Conservatives such as right-wing talk show host Tucker Carlson have said that Mr Epps was a provocateur who encouraged people to enter the Capitol. But Rep Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the select committee investigating the riot, debunked the theory, saying that he did not enter the Capitol on January 6 and was removed from the FBI’s most wanted list because he apparently broke no laws.

Mr Trump asked instead why people were not investigating unfounded claims of voter fraud that he says swung the election to President Joe Biden.

“There is massive that shows exactly what I’m talking about and it’s coming out rapidly and it’s come out, and it’s coming very big in the great state of Arizona,” he said.