In a Facebook exchange today, the editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s editorial page wrote of the mob that attacked the US Capitol: “They didn’t look like members of the typical Trump rally crowd. Probably Antifa. “
The editor, Wayne Laugesen, did not respond to inquiries via email and Facebook Messenger, asking for evidence to support his view that the gangsters were likely Antifa, a left-wing protest group. There is no evidence of Antifa’s involvement.
The Colorado Springs Gazette, owned by conservative billionaire Phil Anschutz, has criticized right-wing activists like today’s in the Capitol.
In an editorial that may have been written by Laguesen, the newspaper criticized Republicans as “aching losers” for trying to remember Democratic lawmakers.
“Our country chooses to be represented in fair, civilized, regulated elections,” the newspaper wrote in October 2019. “Losers in this process should focus on winning the next time, not on changing the results of the last election. ” Sore losers from both parties look ridiculous. “
Laugesen’s comment today appeared in a Facebook post by his wife Dede Laugesen, a former Trump campaign employee who recently promoted electoral fraud conspiracies at the December pro-Trump rally.
Today she posted photos from the rally outside the US Capitol, along with a statement, “Amazing day in DC Although I don’t condone violence and always support the blues, it was good to be with other Americans who are heard and free want & fair elections. We the People asks for a review of the questionable ballot papers. If there is no cheating then no problem. “
An apparent Trump supporter with a pitchfork stands on the steps of the Capitol. Photo by Dede Laugesen.
One of Dede Laugsen’s photographs showed a man with a pitchfork adorned with a small inverted American flag on the steps of the Capitol. When the CTR found that carrying a pitchfork was not a peaceful protest, Laugesen replied, “Pitchforks don’t hurt people. People hurt people. That person with a pitch fork didn’t hurt anyone I saw. “She didn’t answer if she thought he was a member of Antifa.
Facebook commentators criticized Dede Laugesen for the “amazing day” comment and for seeming to cross barriers that were erected around the Capitol to get closer to the building.
“She did not break any barriers or laws,” said Laugesen. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
A commentator then posted a photo from Gazette AP showing “Trump Supporters” apparently trying to break a barrier in the middle of the crowd.
In response to a Facebook commenter who wrote that Dede Laugesen should “go home,” Wayne Laugesen replied, “Don’t you dare tell Dede to go home. She works here. Who the hell are you supposed to tell her what to do? Serious question. I thought you were a friend, but not when you talk to my wife like that. NO ONE speaks to my wife like that. “
Wayne Laugesen commented that he too was at the Capitol and that no barriers were crossed by his wife. Laugesen commented on a post on his own Facebook page, denying an allegation that he was part of the pro-Trump mob. He said, “I’m coming to DC for work.”
Erik Maulbetsch contributed to this report.