“January 6 Was an Attack on Our Democracy”: Officer Michael Fanone Condemns MAGA Extremism Ahead of January 6th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Courage for America Council Member and former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone spoke with Joy Reid on MSNBC’s TheReidOut to commemorate the third anniversary of the January 6th attack and highlight Congress’ role in certifying the 2024 election, the first presidential election since the insurrection. Below is a transcript of the interview:

Joy Reid: Certain Republicans and members of the conservative media have gone overboard this year in downplaying the insurrection, and Trump’s role in it. So it’s no surprise that now a significant number of Americans do not even think it was his fault.

A new poll from the Washington Post and the University of Maryland found that only 53% of Americans and just 14% of Republicans think Trump bears a great deal, or a good deal, of responsibility for January 6. Those numbers are down significantly from the last time the poll was conducted in 2021.

Joining me now is Michael Fanone, former DC Metro Police officer who was badly injured by the insurrectionist mob on January 6, 2021.

Michael Fanone, it is great to finally have you on the show. It has been a long time coming. So thank you so much for taking the time. And I just want to get your reaction to hearing that that is what Americans now think. They agree with Tucker Carlson – that the people who were attacking you were peaceful, ordinary, meek.

Officer Michael Fanone: Yeah, I mean, listen, it pisses me off to no end. But also I understand, you know, when you have people like presidential candidates, Republican presidential candidates, governors, Members of Congress, elected leaders, you know, people that hold positions of authority in this country, telling their constituents lies and BS like you just heard. You know, then that’s going to be the end result. People are not going to know the truth about January 6, the reality of that day, the experience that so many police officers like myself had battling with these violent insurrectionists at the Capitol.

Reid: Let me let you listen to some younger voters. These are some voters who were at something called America Fest, which is Turning Point USA, which is that right wing organization, they held something called America Fest, and this is what young voters said about the insurrection.

B-Roll from Turning Point USA’s America Fest 

Attendee 1: Yes, I think January 6 might have been an inside job. If you watch some of that footage. You can see there’s several people who have like microphones in their ears who look like feds and they are also trying to get a riot started.

Attendee 2: I don’t think it was an insurrection. There wasn’t much violence.

Attendee 3: I do believe it was an inside job because the Capitol security should be some of the best security in the country. And these people got in with ease.

End of B-Roll 

Reid: I mean, the Capitol Security should be some of the best security in the country. You were not a Capitol Police officer. You were called in because they were being overwhelmed.

Where do you think this idea comes from, that this was somehow done by the feds? You were there and I think it’s pretty clear to you, but this was done by civilians, or in some cases, people who were actual law enforcement or military.

Fanone: I mean those idiots that you just played are just repeating the lies that they’ve heard, you know, their masters within the Republican Party echo for the past three years.

Reid: Do you think as somebody who you know – you’re in the world, you’re not a pundit, you talk about your own personal experience and you experienced these people firsthand.

Do you think this is a belief system that is changeable or do you think that this is now going to be dogma in part of our country that people just won’t believe that the experience you had happened?

Fanone: No, I mean, I used to think that by educating people about my experience, about the experiences of law enforcement on January 6, that I could somehow convince people that you know, regardless of their political affiliation, that January 6 was an attack on our democracy, and at the very least, an attack on police officers who you know, were just doing their job that day.

You know, the same job that everyone asks them to do all across this country on a daily basis. But you know, now we’ve gotten to a point where there’s really only two kinds of people in this country. There’s people that support MAGA, whether it’s actively or passively and enable people like Donald Trump to continue to peddle the lies, and inspire violence all throughout this country. And then there’s those that oppose MAGA and that are going to fight like myself, to prevent Donald Trump and his sycophants from holding office in this country.

Reid: What will it say about us as a country if Donald Trump becomes president again after supporting and fomenting an insurrection?

Fanone: I think that it says that we’ve given up on democracy in this country. That the outcome, you know, the ends essentially justify the means, and that the rule of law is meaningless in America.

Reid: What has been the reaction of your fellow law enforcement in general? What you’re saying, is that what federal law enforcement in general are saying to you about your speaking out about the insurrection, and about Trump?

Fanone: I mean, I’ve always said, you know, law enforcement is a microcosm of our society. There is still a great deal of law enforcement officers, especially outside of the DC area, and inside unfortunately the DC area, that support Donald Trump. Maybe not so much because of his actions on January 6, but because they support the message and they support the ideology behind the MAGA movement. They believe that because Donald Trump says he supports law enforcement that Donald Trump does in fact support law enforcement. I don’t understand that.

Reid: Yeah, I think the evidence is fairly clear from your experience that he does not.  Michael Fanone, please come back. Thank you very much. We really appreciate it. We know this anniversary is coming up very soon, this week, in a few days. So thank you so much for spending some time with us.

To view the full interview, click HERE.