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The infamous QAnon Shaman who became the face of the January 6 Capitol riots last year has blamed the media for being the poster boy of the event, and has insisted he was actually trying to calm the crowd.
With his red, white and blue face paint, Viking hat and six-foot spear that he brought with him, 37-year-old Jacob Chansley was one of the most visible members of the mob that stormed Congress a year ago in an attempt to stop Joe Biden being certified as the next US president.
Chansley was one of the first to be sentenced for his part in the violent scenes, which cost five lives, and was given 41 months in jail.
However, despite being one of the first rioters to make it into the building on Capitol Hill – before scrawling a note for outgoing vice president Mike Pence which read: ‘It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!’ – Chansley now claims everyone’s got him all wrong.
Speaking from a federal prison in Oklahoma, Chansley told CBS’s Inside Edition he blamed the media for making him the ‘face’ of the riots.
‘As far as being the ‘face’, that’s something the media made me,’ he said. ‘I didn’t make myself anything.’
Chansley is appealing his sentence and was asked if he regretted going to Capitol Hill that day. He answered: ‘In retrospect one thing I can say that I regret is not working to make sure there was far more peace on that day.
‘If I had known that was going to happen, I would have stepped in before the barricades were breached. I actually tried to calm down the crowd on more than one occasion, it just didn’t work.’
Chansley has remained in the news even after being arrested, having been moved between prisons due to his need to eat vegan food because of his shamanic beliefs. Meanwhile, his mother, Martha Chansley, said she was standing by her son.
‘He was invited to go to the Capitol by President Trump,’ she said. ‘I feel really passionately about how wrong it is that he is even doing any time at all.’
Chansley is one of more than 725 people who have been arrested and charged by the United States for their part in the January 6 insurrection. As well as causing five deaths there were also 140 injuries on the day, as Trump supporters fought to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election.
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