Ian Payne 4pm - 7pm
James O'Brien reflects on 'biggest' lie which led to Trump's extended Facebook ban
6 May 2021, 15:46
This was James O'Brien's disbelief at the "staggering" numbers of Republicans who believed Donald Trump's election "lies", as his Facebook ban is extended for violation of their rules.
Yesterday Facebook's independent oversight board upheld its decision to keep the ex-President off Facebook and Instagram due to his posts during the Capitol riot in January which "severely violated Facebook’s rules and encouraged and legitimized violence".
In January, a mob of his supporters stormed the historic Capitol building, breaking into the House of Representatives and forcing staff and elected representatives to barricade themselves in offices.
Referring to the 70% of registered Republicans who believed "Donald Trump's lies" that the US election was not 'free and fair', James said: "The numbers are almost too staggering to properly process, the number of people who Donald Trump has persuaded, has conned, with his latest lie."
James said he wanted to focus on Trump's "ludicrous claim that the election was somehow stolen from him, that the count was somehow corrupted."
"The psychological process which allows one to treat the truth almost as a buffet, where you can decide what you're going to believe and what not you're going to believe is terrifying.
"Pause for a minute and wonder what would've happened on January 6th if that police officer hadn't led the rioters away from where Mike Pence was hiding?"
James described the "baying mob" who, "on the steps of democracy itself in America, poised to torch it both literally and metaphorically, and [did] so at the behest of an actual President."
"America is still enthralled to this. There's still talk of Trump having another crack in 2024, and the sheer scale of this last lie, it's almost as if the normalisation of dishonesty and deceit had become so complete that there was now no lie too big.
"What would we think if Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, and undertook a geological survey of what the moon was made of, the details were then announced to the American public and 70% of registered Republicans persisted in believing that the moon was made of cheese. What would we think, seriously?
"We'd think that America had completely lost the plot."