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Trump Lost, But Falsehoods About the Capitol Riot Won

Last Jan. 6, I dismissed claims of a stolen election as absurd. They were—yet they’ve won over a large and growing share of the American public. 

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The January 6 Capitol Insurrection: One Year Later

In the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 riot, Steve Bannon was pushing me (and many other reporters, I assume) to write a story that was objectively nonsense. His calls and messages all struck the same theme: Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, had won the 2020 election. “He won in a landslide,” Bannon messaged me shortly before the march on the Capitol. “Watch Georgia today. Heading toward a decertification.”

At the time, this struck me as desperate and more than a little embarrassing, even for a guy with no evident sense of shame. I dismissed it as Bannon toadying up to Trump or luring the gullible to build his podcast audience, and assumed it would all fade away as reality set in.