Lee Enterprises’ Seaborn Larson Ties Montana Republicans to U.S. Capitol Violence

In an article for the Independent Record titled, “Claims that led to D.C. insurrection echoed in MT”, Seaborn Larson, State news bureau reporter for Lee Enterprises (recently promoted from the Missoulian), attempted to tie several Montana politicians and their associates with the violence perpetrated at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.

The FBI has not completed their investigation of the incident and has not made any determinations regarding who is responsible.

Larson first starts his list of problematic people with an unruly reverend. At the swearing in of Republican Troy Downing last Monday, the reverend offering the invocation mentioned in her prayer that the election had been stolen. Larson was perturbed to hear the woman speaking out of turn with non-Mockingbird Media approved talking points and decided to put her on blast,

During Montana Republican state Auditor Troy Downing’s swearing-in ceremony Monday, a reverend claimed falsely in the invocation the presidential election was stolen “in many states.” Downing later denounced the remarks.

Independent Record. Seaborn Larson. Claims that led to D.C. insurrection echoed in MT. Jan 10 2021.

Seaborn then turns his eye to another Montana politician, this time, a woman from Hamilton, State Senator Theresa Manzella. He notes that Manzella, “has ties to several people who trespassed in the halls of the U.S. Capitol during the siege Wednesday.” Larson is also bothered by her insistence on the evidence of fraud during the 2020 General Election,

At least one Montana lawmaker has ties to several people who trespassed in the halls of the U.S. Capitol during the siege Wednesday.

Manzella said Thursday she still believes there is “overwhelming evidence” that the election was stolen from Trump, though courts have repeatedly rejected those claims for lack of evidence.

Later in the article, Larson admonishes Manzella again for not correctly placing the blame on the supporters of Donald Trump,

Manzella’s social media posts have continued floating conspiracies fomenting distrust of the federal government — recently suggesting that the U.S. Capitol doors were deliberately left unlocked for a staged invasion, and questioning whether outside agitators, not Trump supporters, had started the mob at the Capitol

Larson’s list of people with unacceptable opinions goes on. He then sets his sights on Republican Representative Steve Gunderson of Libby.

On Dec. 18, Gunderson tagged each Republican U.S. senator in a series of tweets and urged them, “Senators, Stand Your Ground and object to the fraudulent ‘results’ of the 2020 election!” Montana’s junior U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, who furthered false claims of fraud changing the outcome of the election, was among the nearly dozen GOP senators who were going to object to electors from certain states because a commission they called for had not formed to review claims of fraud. Daines reversed course after the Capitol was sieged.

Larson stepped away from his growing list of people accused of “wrong-think,” and grabbed an interview with Travis McAdam, Director of Combating White Nationalism and Defending Democracy at Montana Human Rights Network. McAdam expressed contempt for people who protested draconian SARS-CoV-2 health orders. Forgetting that Black Lives Matter movements across the United States caused over $2 billion dollars in damage to cities and communities during the summer, McAdam blamed people protesting health directives for the violence at the U.S. Capitol,

“When you think back to those early months of the pandemic when we started to see the big rallies here in Montana and around the country protesting health directives,” McAdam said, “those types of events, you had this precedent set of angry crowds gathering outside capitols or courthouses.

“I think the overall point of what happened yesterday was horrifying and sad and scary but it didn’t come out of nowhere,” McAdam said. “There were these warning signs that really had been building for over a year that came to a head and exploded in the Capitol (Wednesday).”

To wrap up his “wrong-think” article for Lee Enterprises, Larson noted that no Republican in Montana denounced Trump for telling his supporters, “Go home. We love you.”

No Republican who spoke to the Montana State News Bureau for this story denounced Trump for his role in the Capitol invasion. Even in his video urging protesters to leave the area, Trump still told the invaders, “we love you.”

Trump’s proclamation for peace was removed by YouTube and Facebook shortly after Trump shared it.

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