They were dubbed the “Bonnie and Clyde of the MAGA World.” Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lynn Lawrence had been figures of the “Big Lie” movement during the thick of it. They helped organize rallies, even having their fingers in Steve Bannon’s fraudulent “We Build the Wall” gang, who swindled Trump supporters out of their hard-earned cash. And then they decided to sing like canaries. A new Rolling Stone interview details their disillusionment with the former president, and on Tuesday night, one of them even did the unthinkable: They went on CNN.
“The buck has got to stop at Pres. Trump.”
Dustin Stockton, one of the organizers behind pro-Trump rallies that took place Jan. 6, tells CNN’s @AndersonCooper that he feels “a sense of betrayal.”
He testified before the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. pic.twitter.com/15pMziDY0E
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) December 15, 2021
Stockton appeared with his lawyer on Anderson Cooper’s show, where he pulled no punches. He and Lawrence had already detailed about how get gout of dodge on Jan. 6 when they realized it was about to turn south. But he elaborated upon why he’d come to believe that it was “really important to get to the bottom of what happened” that fateful day.
The committee impressed him, for one thing, with the “seriousness” with which they’d treated other people who came forward. He also said the “Big Lie,” coupled with the continued downplaying of the Capitol siege, had “torn our country apart.”
“If there’s ever been a time for us to come together as a country and kind of have a truth and reconciliation moment, I think this calls for it,” Stockton told Cooper.
Stockton agreed that there was “definitely a sense of betrayal” with Trump. “This was somebody we sacrificed for, we invested our lives and our time. In a lot of ways, the warning signs were there. We saw other people coming forward from his inner circle. Essentially he abandons people when the going gets tough for people.”
He did correct some records. He claims Paul Gosar, the Republican representative who was recently punished for posting an anime video of him murdering colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, didn’t actually offer him a pardon.
Asked who was to blame for the events, Stockton said the perpetrators have to take responsibility for their actions. “But the buck’s gotta stop at Presdient Trump,” he added. “He knew better, and there’s no excuse for him sending people down into that situation without having the logistics, the security, the stage and sound systems to control the crowd.” Stockton believed that had their been more organization, things may not have gone haywire. But Trump certainly didn’t help when they did. “The fact that he delayed for so long responding, I think, really speaks ill of what his intentions were and what he was doing.”
Cooper also asked Stockton about the damning text messages numerous Fox News stars, among them Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, had sent Mark Meadows that day, begging him to tell Trump to condemn the attacks. Since then, they’ve been called out for privately believing in the severity of what was happening that day even as they spread lies about it, such as blaming antifa and later downplaying it.
“They were doing the right thing as things happened, and yet they’ve continued to mischaracterize it afterwards,” Stockton said. “Those text messages make it clear they knew the violence was unacceptable, that it needed to be condemned in the most serious possible way. And yet they continue to downplay it and underplay it.”