DNC to tail Trump with mobile billboard of Jan. 6 attack during visit to Capitol Hill

Mihoko Owada

When Donald Trump visits Washington on Thursday to meet with lawmakers near the Capitol, he will be greeted with video of a mob of his supporters rioting there on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Democratic National Committee plans to launch a mobile billboard ahead of Trump’s visit that will aim to follow the former president as he moves between meetings with House and Senate Republicans.

The billboard will play a loop of an 11-minute video montage from the riot and Trump’s speech before it. The video was released by the House committee that investigated the attack.

Four Republican senators who voted to convict Trump during his subsequent impeachment trial on charges of inciting an insurrection told NBC News they will not attend the meeting with Trump because of "conflicts."

DNC spokesperson Alex Floyd said: “Donald Trump is on Capitol Hill for the first time since the American people watched him rally his supporters to storm the Capitol, launching a violent insurrection to overturn our democracy. Trump has only doubled down on his dangerous record since then.”

Trump in recent weeks has been bolder in his embrace of Jan. 6 rioters, including the more than 1,000 who have already been convicted in connection with the attack.

At a rally in Las Vegas on Saturday, Trump for the first time referred to those who participated in the riot as “warriors.”

“Those J6 warriors, they were warriors, but they were really, more than anything else, they’re victims of what happened. All they were doing is protesting a rigged election,” Trump said, continuing to claim without evidence that the 2020 election was marred by fraud.

In the years since the attack, he has referred to those accused of participating in the riot as “hostages” and “patriots,” and he said he would “absolutely” consider pardoning those convicted. Trump released and sold a song made in collaboration with imprisoned rioters, “Justice for All,” which he still regularly plays at his rallies.

President Joe Biden's campaign has accused Trump of making the Jan. 6 attack “a cornerstone of his campaign,” suggesting it reflects a “penchant for political violence and anti-democratic principles.”

The Biden campaign has started using police officers present at the attack as surrogates as it seeks to keep Trump’s alleged role in inciting the attack at the forefront of voters’ minds.

Last month, former U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, former Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Washington Police Officer Daniel “Danny” Hodges began campaigning across six battleground states on behalf of Biden, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“Donald Trump is the greatest threat to our democracy and the safety of communities across the country today,” Dunn said in Pittsburgh last week. “He has encouraged and continues to encourage political violence. He welcomes it. He champions it. My fellow officers and I experienced that type of violence at the hands of a mob of MAGA extremists on Jan. 6.”

In addition to a video montage of the attack, the DNC plans to showcase a new ad focused on controversial comments Trump has made about it and his recent New York business fraud conviction. That ad will follow Trump as he participates in a private meeting with members of the Business Roundtable, a powerful business lobbying group in Washington.

And the Biden campaign released a new ad Thursday morning, “Burn,” that blames Trump for the Jan. 6 riot and highlights the number of law enforcement officers injured during the attack on the Capitol. The ad will run across during local news broadcasts in the battleground states on Thursday.