Conservative Breitbart staffers take jabs at Trump over Capitol riots

Conservative Breitbart staffers take jabs at Trump over Capitol riots
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Credit: Gage Skidmore
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President Donald Trump's final days in office have been filled with isolation, criticism, and backlash. Staffers at the conservative news outlet Breitbart have even reached their breaking point with the disgraced president.

According to internal messages obtained by The Daily Beast, editors and staff news reports at the outlet have clashed on whether or not Trump bears any responsibility for the Capitol riots. The site's international news editor Frances Martel offered his take on the ordeal in a morning message shared on Slack.

"I am just not feeling charitable AT ALL," international news editor Frances Martel posted to Slack the morning after the rioting that left five people dead, including a police officer. "Destroy Trump."

Martel went on to describe the damage Trump had done to the Republican Party by supporting the "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

"He set us back like 10 years," Martel wrote. "We have worked so hard to promote our values, values that made him president when he hawked them, and now he does this, leaving everything in shambles? Nah, destroy him. Let it be a lesson to every other 'populist.'"

Senior editor-at-large Rebecca Mansour also chimed in with her perspective on the death of rioter and QAnon supporter, Ashli Babbitt. Although Babbitt was fatally shot while attempting to break into the Speaker's Lobby, Mansour argues that Trump is bears some responsibility for her death. "I do blame Trump for all of this," Mansour said, adding, "Her death is on him as far I'm concerned."

Breitbart reporter Chris Tomlinson noted Trump and his campaign's influence on the rise of conspiracy theorists like attorney Lin Wood. His affiliation with Trump and the campaign offered him a level of credibility that led to the circulation of dangerous falsehoods and conspiracy claims.

"[Trump] and the campaign also gave legitimacy to Lin Wood and others who were far more explicit in riling people up," Tomlinson said.

However, there were some staffers who attempted to defend the president. Although he did encourage his supporters to descend on the U.S. Capitol, some saw the president's speech calling for calm as a form of redemption.

"Trump explicitly asked people to be peaceful and respectful yesterday, and then almost immediately called for the violence to stop," Breitbart columnist John Nolte argued.

Other reporters chimed in saying, "I mean, violence is bad but this was nothing compared to Antifa rioting over the summer," Pentagon reporter Kristina Wong argued. "Not even close," Breitbart reporter John Binder said in agreement, adding, "They burned entire cities to the ground. At most, these people broke windows."

However, Martel did not back down. "Dude told rioters 'We love you, you're special,'" Martel said of Trump's post-riot speech, adding, "Done with this guy, get him outta there with the stage cane."

Despite Breitbart staffers' clash, Democrats had no problem agreeing to Trump being impeached. On Thursday, Jan. 14, Trump was impeached for the second time for incitement of an insurrection.


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