During a campaign rally in Houston, former United States President Donald Trump referred to people detained in connection with the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 as “hostages” in his latest action in support of his followers involved in the insurgency.
“I call them ‘J-6 hostages,’ not prisoners. I call them hostages, which is what happened. And it’s unfortunate,” Trump said during the rally in Houston. Initially, at the beginning of the event, Trump greeted the crowd while a song played, which featured the men detained for their involvement in the attack. Trump also participated in the creation of the song called “J6 Prison Choir”.
The attack was an attempt to overturn Trump’s election defeat to President Joe Biden, which the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 elections continues to argue was the result of widespread fraud. The song “Justice for All” was released on several streaming platforms in March, featuring Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the detained men singing the US national anthem.
Trump has previously promoted the song, but the use of the word “hostage” represents his latest attempt to portray those involved in the attack as prominent figures. The former president also sought to portray the four criminal cases brought against him as partisan persecutions, making that message central to his 2024 presidential campaign.