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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Texas GOP fires staffer seen in Capitol riot video

by AP News.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A now-former employee of the Texas Republican Party was fired after the organization found out he was among the pro-Donald Trump mob outside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection last month.

Less than three months on the job, ex-staffer Kevin Whitt was fired Monday by the Texas GOP after The Texas Tribune reported asking the party about Whitt’s social media posts regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

“Information has come to light of some troubling video of one of our former employees,” party spokesperson Luke Twombly said in a statement to the newspaper. “Due to this footage, we terminated our relationship.”

Whitt, who was hired in late November as a field organizer, told the paper after his firing that the GOP was “canceling conservatives, obviously.”

On the day after the Capitol siege, Whitt posted a video on his Instagram account showing people near a Capitol entrance with alarms going off in the background. And although Whitt was not seen in the video, his voice could be heard from behind the camera. “This is the door of the Capitol,” Whitt says in the video. “I’m trying to move as close as I can.”

Whitt told the newspaper that he did not enter the building nor did he try to breach it. He acknowledged he was in town for a Trump rally but decided not to attend because of the early arrival time. But he said when he saw rioters escalate the situation at the Capitol, he went to the building to see what was happening.

Whitt said the crowd outside the Capitol entrance was getting rowdy, and “I stepped outside and got out of it.”

“I was being nosy,” Whitt said

In a separate Facebook post dating to mid-December, Whitt praised the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, calling them “amazing” men and said there may be a “few bad apples that do dumb stuff,” but that was to be expected when organizing.

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