Hawley, facing fallout, blames media, D.C. 'establishment'
O'FALLON, Mon. (AP) - Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who received less and less support from longtime supporters and donors after the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, defended himself in a newspaper column on Wednesday and accused the media and "Washington Institution" of deceiving Americans into calling him an "insurgent".
Hawley's column appeared in the Southeast Missourian, a daily newspaper in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It was the first time Hawley, 41, had defended himself publicly since the brutal attack on Jan. 6, when a group of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol following the president's rally.
Five people died, including a Capitol police officer, and lawmakers had to go to safety and hide as rioters raged through the building. This delayed the count of the electoral college vote by hours, which was the final step in completing Democrat Joe Biden's victory over Trump.
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Hawley was the first Senator to announce a challenge to the Electoral College results, and his challenge continued after the attack. Concerns also emerged after a photo of Hawley greeted protesters outside the Capitol with fists raised, though this was taken before the mob stormed the building.
Hawley noted on the column that following the loss of the 2000, 2004 and 2016 presidential elections, the Democrats raised objections and were “praised for their work for democracy”.
"This time, anyone who objected was labeled an 'insurgent'," he wrote of the concern. This is wrong. And the claim itself is caustic and dangerous. "
Except for Trump himself, no politician has suffered the fallout like Hawley. Several donors have received financial support. Meanwhile, the Trump-opposing Lincoln Project announced it would run full-page newspaper ads naming its remaining donors.
Email requests for comment from Hawley's office on Wednesday have not been returned.
Healthcare IT company Cerner Corp. based in Kansas City, Missouri, announced Wednesday that it will suspend posts "on any candidate or official who participated in or incited violence in Washington, DC last week." Spokeswoman Misti Preston said the company "doesn't give specific names," but Cerner's political action committee has donated $ 10,000 to a Hawley-sponsored PAC over the past two years.
Late Tuesday, two St. Louis-based companies - utility company Ameren Corp. and the financial firm Edward Jones - they would suspend the campaign. The law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner also announced that it would at least temporarily stop political donations. The company is one of the largest in St. Louis.
Ameren, Edward Jones and the law firm contributed to Hawley.
Walmart said Tuesday that its PAC "is indefinitely suspending contributions to those Congressmen who have voted against legal certification of state electoral college votes." Walmart gave nearly $ 1.2 million to federal candidates in the 2017-18 election cycle, but none to Hawley, according to website opensecrets.org, operated by the Center for Responsive Politics.
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