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Why John Maus and Ariel Pink attending the pro-Trump riot isn’t surprising

Pink has claimed that Maus is also a Trump supporter and that he was in Washington to ‘peacefully show (his) support’ for the President

On Wednesday (January 6), a MAGA mob stormed the US Capitol building in a deranged attempt to stop the official certification of Joe Biden’s election win. Hours later, images surfaced showing musicians Ariel Pink and John Maus in attendance. On a private Instagram account, filmmaker Alex Lee Moyer posted a photo in which she appeared to be sitting on a hotel room bed with Maus and Pink. “The day we almost died but had a great time instead,“ read the caption. In an Instagram story on the same account, Moyer posted a video showing Maus standing outside the Capitol.

Responding to criticism on Twitter, Pink confirmed he attended the rally but said that he didn’t storm the Capitol, writing: “I was in DC to peacefully show my support for the president. I attended the rally on the White House lawn and went back to hotel.”

Maus hasn’t directly responded to the backlash, instead posting a cryptic quote from a 1937 encyclical from Pope Pius XI condemning Nazism.

“Welcome to the panoptigan,” Pink tweeted, possibly meaning panopticon – a circular prison where all inmates can be observed from the centre. “They wasted no time... save yourselves friends, cancel me now and turn me in before they come for you.”

This isn’t surprising behaviour from Pink, whose Twitter is a cesspit of YouTube conspiracies, pandemic disinformation, and regular ‘vote for Trump’ posts. In October, he tweeted that “Trump are his team are THE geniuses of our time” and once told The New Yorker that “everybody’s a victim, except for small, white, nice guys who just want to make their moms proud and touch some boobies”.

In December, Pink appeared on an alt-right podcast called Wrong Opinion, where he said: ”John is a thousand and one percent on Team Trump.“

Regardless of whether Maus denies supporting Trump and white supremacy, the point is this: he stood alongside the rioters instead of actively standing against them, with his friend who frequents white nationalist podcasts and speaks openly about his support of the president – a figure who has more or less incited mass violence this week, and been mealymouthed in his forced condemnation. Those reasons alone are inexcuseable.