RFK Jr. Campaign Backs Away From Email on 'J6 Activists'

Team now disavows fundraising email that deems inmates 'stripped of their Constitutional liberties'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2024 7:43 AM CDT
RFK Jr. Campaign Backs Away From Email on 'J6 Activists'
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is seen March 26 in Oakland, California.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Donald Trump has made no bones about publicly supporting individuals incarcerated for the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. Now, the campaign of another 2024 presidential contender is walking back its own assessment of the jailed rioters in a fundraising email.

  • The email: The campaign of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sent out a message on Thursday, signed "Team Kennedy," to supporters, calling for the exoneration of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whom the email called a "political prisoner," per NBC News. Then: "This is the reality that every American Citizen faces—from Ed Snowden, to Julian Assange to the J6 activists sitting in a Washington DC jail cell stripped of their Constitutional liberties." The email added: "Please help our campaign call out the illiberal actions of our very own government."

  • Campaign response: Kennedy's campaign is now disavowing the part about the J6ers, claiming it "was an error that does not reflect Mr. Kennedy's views. It was inserted by a new marketing contractor and slipped through the normal approval process," per campaign rep Stefanie Spear. She added that her boss' campaign nixed its contract with the unnamed vendor.
  • Trump rhetoric: The former president has referred to Jan. 6 prisoners as "hostages" and "patriots," and has vowed to offer "full pardons" if he's elected to the Oval Office again, per Politico.
  • Past RFK Jr. statements: In November, Kennedy said that he would consider pardoning some J6 inmates. "If prosecutorial malfeasance is demonstrated, then yes. Otherwise, no," he told the Washington Post. He also said earlier this week that he could argue President Biden is a bigger threat to democracy than Donald Trump, though he called Trump's attempt to overthrow the 2020 election "appalling."
  • DNC reaction: "There's one big problem here for Kennedy as he tries to disown his campaign's embrace of January 6th insurrectionists—it captures his views perfectly," a rep for the Democratic National Committee said of the latest email, per CBS News.
  • The J6 numbers: NBC notes that more than 1,350 people have been charged in the Jan. 6 attack, with over 950 convictions so far. About 500 individuals have been sentenced to jail time, with sentences ranging from a few days to more than two decades.
(More Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 2024 stories.)

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