For the past day, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has taken to Twitter to defend Jacob Chansley, better known as the
“Free Jacob Chansley,” Musk
Elon Musk defends ‘Dilbert’ creator after racist rant, tweets media ‘racist against whites’
Musk included a video in his post showing Chansley in his now-infamous QAnon Shaman getup including face paint, horned helmet, and fur cap. In the video, Chansley reads out a Trump tweet from the end of the day on Jan. 6 telling his supporters to leave the Capitol and go home. Chansley announces that he’s going to abide by Trump’s request in the clip.
In another tweet, Musk shared an additional clip aired on Fox New’s Tucker Carlson Tonight that shows Chansley following Capitol police as he enters the Senate floor.
“Chansley got 4 years in prison for a non-violent, police-escorted tour!?” Musk
Musk continued his defense of Chansley in replies to other Twitter users.
“Chansley was falsely portrayed in the media as a violent criminal who tried to overthrow the state and who urged others to commit violence,”
“The Capitol Police literally opened the Senate chamber door for him on camera!” Musk said in another
Musk’s recent statements about Jan. 6 come after Republicans, who now control the House, provided hours of previously unseen security camera footage to Fox News’ Carlson. The host has been running multiple segments this past week showing cherry-picked footage of moments where the pro-Trump mob, who broke down doors and windows to enter the Capitol building that day, were shuffling around inside the building and not actively acting out violently in the moment.
However, like Carlson, Musk has misportrayed what went on to his audience of more than 130 million Twitter followers.
Much of what is seen in this footage has previously been portrayed via clips taken from those inside the building and has been publicly available. In the month following the Jan. 6 insurrection, Capitol police
While Chansley’s eccentric costume certainly shaped the media coverage around him, he was one of the first to enter the building that day. In a
As for the “unseen” video of Chansley telling rioters to go home at the behest of Trump, that too has long been accessible online. In fact, just one month after the storming of the Capitol, Rep. Diana DeGette entered
Chansley eventually plead guilty in November 2021 to “one count of obstruction of an official proceeding,” a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. The man known as the QAnon Shaman is
Musk did seem to walk back his earlier, more affirmative statements about the QAnon Shaman’s innocence in his last tweet late Friday.
“Yeah, I agree he should get non-zero punishment, but four years in prison is too much for a non-violent crime,” Musk
But as of Saturday morning, Musk was back on board with his original statements, even mockingly referencing an earlier interview from Chansley where he claimed he stopped his fellow Trump supporters from
“Let him out,”