- A retired Navy SEAL who attended the protests that turned violent in DC last week but insists he did not breach the Capitol is facing questions from the FBI after initially boasting in a video about last Wednesday's events, ABC News reported.
- One of several veterans who were among the protesters, Adam Newbold says he realized what had occurred after news came in that people had been killed.
- He said that he regrets being a part of the crowd and told ABC News that the riots at the Capitol "accomplished nothing."
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A former Navy SEAL who is facing questions from the FBI after boasting about the Capitol siege in a video told ABC News on Tuesday that he now realizes "it was all taken too far."
Adam Newbold, who reportedly spent over two decades in the US Navy and is a retired reserve SEAL, reportedly posted a video on Jan. 6 stating that he felt pride following the events that unfolded in DC that day. He said that he hoped "it pans out to be a positive revolution."
"I'm hoping the message was strong enough," he said in the video, which has since been deleted from Facebook but was obtained by ABC News. "Unfortunately, maybe it wasn't. I hate to see this escalate more."
He reportedly said that the aim was to leave congressional leaders "shaking in their shoes" and make them "think twice about what they're doing."
Talking to ABC News on Tuesday, he said that he had been interviewed by the FBI and was facing additional questioning about his involvement in the events at the Capitol, which he said did not include assaulting law enforcement personnel or breaching the halls of Congress.
Newbold told the outlet that he would like to express a "cry for clemency," explaining that his "life has been absolutely turned upside down." He argued that he is not a "terrorist" or a "traitor."
He said that he did not fully realize what was happening at the Capitol at the time, explaining that the realization of what had occurred did not set in until he saw that people had been killed.
"Now I regret being in the crowd," he told ABC News, adding that "when you are in the arena, you don't see the big picture." Reflecting on the "Save America" protests that turned violent last Wednesday, he said. "It accomplished nothing. What the hell was it all for?"
Last Wednesday, a pro-Trump mob marched on and stormed the Capitol in an attempt to challenge efforts by lawmakers to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. In addition to destruction of property, five people died.
Among the protesters were several members of the veterans community, such as retired Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr., who was spotted wearing tactical gear and carrying zip-tie handcuffs, Air Force veteran, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed during the riots, and Jacob Chansley, a Navy veteran and prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist who stormed the Capitol in a furry headdress with horns and a spear.
There were also military veterans among the people defending the Capitol. One, Air National Guard veteran and Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, made the ultimate sacrifice and was killed in the line of duty.
A couple of days after the riots, Newbold told The Review, a local news outlet in Lisbon, Ohio, that that the attack on the Capitol is not who he is. "We don't do that stuff," he said, telling the paper that he and some of the others with him tried to help police.
"They are not our enemies. They are our friends," Newbold, who currently works as a tactical shooting instructor, said of law enforcement in a social media post the day before the riots at the Capitol.
ABC News reported that a video posted on Newbold's Facebook page suggested using walking sticks, batons, and mounted American flags as weapons to defend themselves if necessary. Videos of the riots show that some Trump supporters used flag poles to beat police officers during the assault.
Talking to local media in Ohio, Newbold said that it was "just mass chaos" at the Capitol, adding that "the cops were so completely overwhelmed they could not hold back the crowd."
Some veterans in Congress, such as Arizona Democrat and former Marine Rep. Ruben Gallego, have strongly condemned military veterans who took part in last week's events at the Capitol.
In a statement Monday, he said that "in attacking the Capitol, the Congress, and the Constitution that they swore to protect, any current or former military members who may have participated have disgraced themselves and committed serious crimes against the People of the United States."
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