Jennifer Phillips of Las Vegas didn’t call supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol rioters or agitators or anarchists.
In her estimation, they are patriots.
"You can't blame us. We've been peaceful this entire time and we needed to take action," said Phillips, a Trump supporter protesting Joe Biden’s election today in downtown Las Vegas.
"I appreciate the patriots willing to go and storm in like that and make us be heard, our voices be heard,” she said.
Trump supporters in Washington, D.C., clashed with police and stormed the U.S. Capitol today as Congress met to confirm the results of Biden’s victory.
Trump has refused to accept the outcome of the election, which he has claimed without evidence was stolen through widespread fraud.
Phillips, who was among about 100 Trump supporters who rallied this morning outside the federal courthouse in Las Vegas, said she was surprised by the chaotic scene in Washington but thought it was warranted.
There were no reports of any violence or disorderly conduct at the Las Vegas protest. A handful of police officers at the courthouse watched over the event.
Vehicles, including pickup trucks displaying American flags and Trump campaign banners, rolled down Las Vegas Boulevard, honking their horns as they passed protesters with “Stop the Steal” signs.
Some protesters carried American flags and Trump 2020 banners. Others wore shirts associated with the far-right Proud Boys and touting conspiracy theories.
Lisa North, another Trump backer from Las Vegas, said the scene in Washington doesn’t represent the conservative movement.
But she floated a conspiracy theory of her own, suggesting those at the Capitol might have been left-wing protesters in disguise.
North said she was at today’s rally not just as a Trump backer but to support the Constitution and election integrity.
“How can we trust the election process going forward now?" North said.
The protests were among many in cities and state capitals throughout the U.S.
Carrying signs including “Voter fraud is treason,” a mostly maskless crowd in Carson City chanted “We want freedom” and demanded federal lawmakers take action to prevent Biden from taking office.
Speaking to a crowd outside the state Capitol, Conservative radio host Monica Jaye criticized Vice President Mike Pence for failing to take steps to overturn the election.
“The man that we elected to support our president as vice president has given up on this country and given up on you and me. Vice President Pence is a traitor to this country,” she said.
In Washington, the U.S. Capitol was locked down after protesters breached barricades and were met by officers in riot gear. A number of people managed to force their way into the building.
Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back.
The skirmishes came shortly after Trump addressed thousands of supporters, riling up the crowd with baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House.
Protestors in Carson City broadcast Trump's speech on loudspeakers, in which he vowed to “never concede." They called for a “new Republican Party” and equated the vote count to treason.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.