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Palm Springs Trump supporter who was at D.C. Capitol riots speaks out

A local supporter of President Trump who was immersed in Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol is sharing her experience.

Toni Ringlein, a Palm Springs woman, calls herself a patriot invested in "stopping the steal" of an election that Congress certified this week with bi-partisan support, despite an unprecedented attack on democracy.

"I felt the need to go and stand up as a proud American who believes in truth, freedom and the American way," Ringlein said.

She flew across the country to see the president's speech in which he urged supporters to march on the Capitol to protest his baseless claims of election fraud.

"You'll never take back our country with weakness; you have to show strength," Trump said in the speech.

The president incited some of the thousands who gathered to commit violence on the steps of the Capitol, overpowering law enforcement, toppling barricades and rioting through the halls of congress.

The attack left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

"No one wants lives to be lost; I don't want anyone to be dead," Ringlein said. "President Trump doesn't either."

She said she was not part of the violent group who trespassed, and said, without evidence, that those who did weren't associated with the president.

However, Ringlein admits his supporters were there to put pressure on lawmakers before they could vote to certify the election. "To show our Senate and Congress that there are Americans out here that want the right thing to happen, that want freedom, that we do not want this stolen election."

Members of the house are drafting a new article of impeachment that accuses the president of "inciting insurrection" and "gravely endangering the security of the United States."

But Ringlein said President Trump isn't responsible. News Channel 3 pushed back on that assertion.

"You don't think the president played a role in what took place in the Capitol," asked reporter Jake Ingrassia.

"No, President Trump did not encourage that. He has never encouraged any of that," Ringlein said.

When asked about a taped video address tweeted by President Trump in which he asked his supporters to "go home," and said "We love you. You're very special," Ringlein said he wasn't referring to the violent rioters.

When News Channel 3 questioned that claim, Ringlein called it "typical liberal spin."

Despite the deadly assault on American democracy, she maintains her pride in taking part.

"I'm proud and grateful I was there," Ringlein said. "I'm a proud American."

President Trump, who previously said he would "never concede," issued a statement promising a "peaceful transfer of power."

Friday he was banned from Twitter due to the risk of "further incitement of violence."

National Politics / News Headlines / Politics / Top Stories

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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