Great Britain

Mother of ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley defends her son and repeats election conspiracy theories

The mother of the so-called “QAnon Shaman” has defended her son's actions during the Capitol insurrection and repeated false claims that Donald Trump only lost the election due to voter fraud.

Martha Chansley, the mother of Jacob Chansley, appeared on 60 Minutes+ to discuss her son's role in the 6 January riots.

In one clip, Laurie Segall, a 60 Minutes correspondent, asks Ms Chansley if she thought her son did anything wrong.

"What do you mean by wrong?" she asks, exasperated. "He went through open doors. He was escorted into the Senate. So I don't know what's wrong with that."

She did not acknowledge the violent siege that preceded her son walking through the open doors of the Capitol.

When Ms Segall pressed Ms Chansley on the gravity of the situation her son was involved with, Ms Chansley answered that "of course" she understood the severity of breaching the Capitol.

"I feel the gravity of it, because my son is in - you know, he's, he's where he is right now," she said. "If he could take it back, he would. I know that he's sorry."

She then repeated her position that her son walked through open doors, and thus did nothing wrong.

When Ms Segall challenges her defence, pointing out that the doors were only open because an armed group of people overwhelmed the police and broken in, she claimed her son was not a part of that group.

"Jacob wasn't a part of that," Ms Chansley said.

Mr Chansley became an icon of the day, appearing in numerous photos and livestreams from the riot thanks to his horned helmet, fur costume and body paint.

Ms Segall pushed back, challenging Ms Chansley's attempt to separate her son from the rest of the riot.

Ms Chansley was unwilling to agree that her son's participation in the riot - even if he was not specifically violent to anyone during the assault - was "bad."

"No, I don't think the process of being able to go and exercise your right to free speech and to stand up for what you believe is right [is bad]," she said.

When told people do not have the right to disrupt Congress or trespass on the Capitol building outside of legal tours, Ms Chansley revealed that she - like her son - believed Mr Trump's 2020 election conspiracy theories.

"I don't think it's right that it was won fraudulently," she said. "I don't believe it was won fairly at all. Absolutely not."

Ms Chansley has previously defended her son in the press, largely using the same tactics.

"My son is a great patriot, a veteran, a person who loves this country,” she said. "I was surprised. I think at the time I don't think he did anything wrong."

She also questioned the ethics of breaching the Capitol, asking rhetorically during the interview "isn't it the people's house?"

Her son was arrested in the wake of the Capitol riots and is still in prison. He was charged with two felonies and four misdemeanours that include civil disorder and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

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