JACKSON, Miss. (MISSISSIPPI TODAY) – A group called the “Patriot Party of Mississippi” traveled to Washington to participate in a Wednesday rally that later grew into a violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol — an effort to protest and overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s election over Republican President Donald Trump.
Before the pro-Trump violence broke out, the small Mississippi group was greeted by two of Mississippi’s most powerful politicians: Republican U.S. Reps. Trent Kelly, the highest ranking military officer in Congress, and Michael Guest, who represents the state’s 3rd congressional district.
A photo of the group with the congressmen was published in the Greenwood Commonwealth newspaper and is circulating on social media. Mississippi Today reached out to staffers for Kelly and Guest to ask about the meeting.
Kelly’s staff organized the Wednesday morning meeting and invited Guest to meet with the group at a park adjacent to the Cannon congressional office building, a staffer for Guest told Mississippi Today.
“It wasn’t anywhere close to where the president was speaking or where any active protest was going on,” said Rob Pillow, Guest’s communications director who attended the meeting. “(The congressmen) weren’t out at a protest participating in any of the rallying cries that were going on. It was pretty early morning and was still what appeared to be a normal day.”
Pillow continued: “At that time, (Guest) was still weighing his decision about how he was going to vote in the (electoral college) certification process. The conversation was mainly about procedure, and it probably lasted about 5-10 minutes. They took a photo, and we walked back into the Cannon House office building. That was the extent of it.”
Kelly’s office did not return a request for comment. Later that day, both Kelly and Guest voted not to certify the electoral college votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania — states that elected Democrat Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in November.
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