CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As the flags in West Virginia fly at half-staff following the riot at the nation’s Capitol and the death of a police officer as a result, one West Virginia republican senator’s comments about January 6th are drawing criticism from his colleagues in the legislature.
“These were peaceful American loving, constitution loving, God-loving Americans that showed up,” said Sen. Michael Azinger of Wood County.
Azinger says he was at the Capitol on January 6th but he didn’t partake in the breaching of the building, but he has strong opinions over who did.
“You know, if it walks like a duck it talks like a duck, it’s a duck. These folks were dressed like Antifa, acted like Antifa and my personal belief is it was Antifa, possibly BLM also,” he said.
The West Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus published a letter that reads “We call on all of our Senate colleagues including Senator Azinger to condemn the violence, to stop fanning and flaming the fires of division.”
“What’s expected of elected officials is to, a: condemn violence and b: tell the truth, not perpetuate conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality or law,” said Democratic Sen. Richard Lindsay.
Senator Azinger’s comments come right as the FBI warned Monday that more far-right, armed extremist groups plan to march on state capitols this weekend.
“Lies have consequences and now our state capitol is also under threat from armed militias and senator Azinger seems to be cheering them on,” said Democratic Del. Mike Pushkin.
Azinger says he’s seen the letter.
“I told my local paper that I will resign when cows fly,” he said.
In the meantime, security will be increased at the nation’s Capitol in the days leading up to the inauguration.