Doug Mastriano is a Pennsylvania Republican state senator and right-wing commentator who organized buses to Washington, D.C., on January 6 for what became the deadly pro-Trump riot at the Capitol. Just days before the insurrection attempt, Mastriano promoted his efforts to overturn the election on a right-wing program and stated that Republicans are “basically ... in this death match with the Democrat Party.”
Mastriano represents Pennsylvania State Senate District 33 and is a retired U.S. Army colonel. He also runs the personal Facebook page “Doug Mastriano Fighting for Freedom.” He has become one of the leading conservative figures in Pennsylvania who has pushed false claims about the election being stolen and has recently met with President Donald Trump. He makes regular appearances on the pro-Trump Newsmax TV.
Following the coup attempt, Mastriano released a statement claiming that he condemns violence. He also wrote, in part, that he “went to Washington, DC, today to support President Trump” and that he didn’t “enter the Capitol building, walk on the Capitol steps or go beyond police lines.” Democrats in Pennsylvania have called for an investigation into Mastriano and some have asked for him to resign.
Mastriano pushed violent rhetoric prior to the January 6 riot.
Media Matters previously noted that he appeared on a QAnon program on December 21 and compared his attempt to overturn the election to fighting against terrorists on Flight 93 and opposing the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Mastriano made similarly incendiary remarks shortly before he headed to Washington, D.C., during a January 4 appearance on The Eric Metaxas Show. (Video of the interview was posted on YouTube on January 4 and aired on Metaxas’ Salem Radio Network program the following day.) Metaxas is a pro-Trump host who last year admitted to physically attacking someone demonstrating near the White House.
Mastriano also appeared on Metaxas' show on November 30 along with Trump. During that interview, Metaxas told the president: “I'd be happy to die in this fight.” Metaxas has supported efforts to overturn the election and said in December: “We need to fight to the death, to the last drop of blood because it's worth it.”
In his January 4 interview, Mastriano falsely claimed that there's been anti-Trump “fraud and suppression and what have you” and said: “This is about our republic. As you told the president, this is an essential fight here. And if we fail to uphold the rule of law and ensuring one vote per person counted, we're going to lose our republic. It's that serious.” During the conversation, Metaxas said: “To me, the deeper issue is whether we as a nation will countenance that kind of behavior. If we do, if we allow people to get away with this, I am afraid billions around the world will suffer.”
Mastriano later said that Democrats have been “lying, stealing, and cheating” and Republicans “don't even realize that, you know, basically we're in this death match with the Democrat Party where we're playing by all these, you know, Chatham House Rules and what have you.”
ERIC METAXAS (HOST): Can we wake enough people up?
DOUG MASTRIANO: I think we can. I do believe that enough of us have been stirred to action -- at least 75 million, maybe 80 million of us -- have been stirred to action. And I use feeling, you know, in this case, feeling is meant -- we feel disenfranchised and factually enough, people have been disenfranchised, you know, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere that something needs to be done. And on the other side, Eric, so you have a very determined group of people who believe they're fighting, you know, for some noble cause, which just defies reason because they should be able to win in a marketplace of ideas, not by lying, stealing, and cheating. But on our side here, I feel like Wile E. Coyote, you know, we are so self-righteous and think we're so smart while the Democrats run circles around us and we don't even realize that, you know, basically we're in this death match with the Democrat Party where we're playing by all these, you know, Chatham House Rules and what have you. And meanwhile, they're running circles around us. And I'm not saying anything we need to step out that that's not constitutional, but we need to have a little more courage instead of shooting at each other. And I'm dealing with this in Pennsylvania, so I'm out there in my way.
Mastriano later compared the state of the country to 1917, when “Czarist Russia is at collapse. That group of Bolsheviks thought they knew better than the Mensheviks knew. So where does it stop? And then, of course, when they ultimately get into power, we see the results of that. So that's terrifying.” He added: “I am so desperate looking for modern day Benjamin Franklins and John Adams or Jeffersons out there. Where are they? Please, somebody could rise up and tell us how do we constitutionally get through this treacherous time?”
After pushing his incendiary rhetoric, Mastriano previewed the January 6 events in Washington, D.C.:
DOUG MASTRIANO: President Trump himself will be speaking to the people, congressmen and women and senators will be up on the stage and be introduced as the fighters and warriors. And then we're going to march over to the Capitol and have some speaking engagements. I'm scheduled to speak at the Capitol and then, of course, Freedom Plaza that afternoon and evening.