SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA) — Southern Californians were among those in Washington, D.C. for Wednesday’s pro-Trump demonstration, one of whom lives part-time in Newport Beach.
One of the first things Caroline Wetherington said she saw when she got in front of the United States Capitol around 2:30 p.m. were rioters coming out of the building wearing Capitol Police gear.
“Some of them were wearing things that were stolen from the Capitol Police like shields and helmets,” she said. “One guy was wearing a helmet that on the back it said Capitol Police and it had the shield in the front, but it was definitely not a Capitol policeman.”
Wetherington, who splits her time between Newport Beach and Florida, and founded the group Women For Trump there, went to the nation’s capital with fellow supporters of the president.
In videos shared with CBS Los Angeles, Wetherington can be heard singing the National Anthem surrounded by thousands waiving Trump and American flags. She said most of the people she saw there were peaceful, but admitted that others were not there to protest peacefully.
“There were the people that would go inside, they’d get pepper sprayed and then they would come out, and some of them, it was almost like a college initiation,” she said. “They’d come out and go, ‘Yeah, I got pepper sprayed! Go in, go in, you’re next!’ It was almost like they were doing it just to kinda say I did it.”
When asked about the violence and chaos that broke out following the rally, Weatherington said she was “not happy” about what transpired.
“But I’m proud of the patriots who went to peacefully protest which is what the majority of the almost 2 million people who were there did,” she said. “There were some people who damaged property and went into the [U.S.] capitol which they probably shouldn’t have done.”