A Texas state representative from the Hill Country who was in Washington, D.C. last week for a rally in support of President Donald Trump later downplayed the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol during a talk radio appearance.
State Representative Kyle Biedermann, a Trump-aligned Republican in the Texas House representing Kendall, Comal and Gillespie counties, told Dallas-area talk radio host Chris Salcedo that “a few radicals...caused the trouble” at the Capitol.
The lawmaker’s comments came during a Jan. 7 appearance on the show, as Biedermann described why he traveled to Washington D.C. for the rally the day before.
Biedermann said he attended the ‘Save America Rally’ from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., which was held at The Ellipse, a park south of the White House, about two miles away from the Capitol.
There, Trump and his allies rallied supporters, who had traveled to the nation’s capital to protest the certification of the election, to “fight like hell” and march to the Capitol. Around 1 p.m., a violent mob laid siege to the house of Congress, killing five. Dozens of Capitol police officers were injured, including one fatally.
“We came because we wanted to be heard and we’re sick and tired of what’s been going on by the elite media and the elite politicians who continue to ignore us,” Biedermann told Salcedo the next day.
There is no indication that Biedermann traveled to or inside the Capitol, but he is the third known state elected official to have been in the vicinity during the deadly attack. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also attended the rally, delivering a speech urging supporters to keep “fighting.” His wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, R-Dallas, appeared with him on stage.
Biedermann, who was first elected in 2016, did not respond to a call and email requesting comment for this story.
Two days after the siege, Biedermann Tweeted: “The politicians in DC are out of touch w/ the voices of God fearing Americans and w/ the radical nature of the Democrat Party, it only renews my resolve to fight to give Texans the right to vote on #Texit,” linking to an online petition meant to gather emails to support his plan for Texas to secede from the United States.
Biedermann has claimed he will file a bill to “allow the people of Texas to choose if we will once again assert the right of independence,” but he’s authored zero of the 1,201 bills filed in the House this session.
He did not Tweet about the riot in DC.
A Facebook photo posted by a woman who also traveled to D.C. for the rally shows her standing with Biedermann with the Washington Monument in the background. Neither wore a mask.
The woman shared photos in the same post, which did not include Biedermann, from Trump’s speech and from just in front of the steps of the Capitol, after Trump supporters had broken through police barriers.
Jill Glover, a member of the Texas State Republican Executive Committee, confirmed via telephone this week that Biedermann sat behind her on a flight back from D.C. She wrote about her trip in a blog posted on the Texas GOP website.
She declined to provide any other details about the trip.
“We’re very disgusted by it, but we’re not surprised. It’s what we’ve come to expect from him,” said Laura Bray, chair of the Kendall County Democratic Party, in a phone interview earlier this week.
On Thursday, the Kendall County Democrats called on Biedermann to resign in a statement.
“Kendall County residents want to see productive action on issues such as more local control for counties to promote reasonable development; protecting our precious Hill Country environment and water resources; and improving access to rural healthcare,” wrote Bray. “Instead, Rep. Biedermann has redoubled his fear-mongering and divisiveness. District 73 deserves better representation.”
The Texas Democratic Party called on state Republican leadership, including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to “call for Biedermann’s resignation,” in a statement to KSAT.
“(Biedermann) must resign from the Texas Legislature immediately, and short of that, be expelled. It’s time for Texas Republicans to put up or shut up. They either support domestic terrorists or they don’t... This is the difference between right and wrong. We’ll see what side of history Texas Republicans choose to stand on,” said Texas Democratic Party spokesperson Abhi Rahman.
Less than a week after the siege, Biedermann posed for a photo outside the Texas Capitol with Second Amendment activists who had traveled to Austin for the opening day of the Legislature. None of them wore masks.
Today, I attend a rally to support the @TexasGOP. I enjoyed my time with a great group of patriots, including Stephen Willeford, @WatchChad, and Johnnie Langendorff. I will be filing #ConstitutionalCarry, a party plank and will support all the priorities on our platform. #txlege pic.twitter.com/9yJlTZDh6d— Kyle Biedermann (@KyleBiedermann) January 10, 2021
Biedermann was also photographed with anti-vaccine activists outside the Capitol on the opening day of the Legislature.
Rep @KyleBiedermann comes outside, takes off masks and speaks with anti-vaccine folks outside north entrance of Tx Capitol. He tells them he’s already suing @GovAbbott (featured here on this man’s sign).— Lauren McGaughy 🌟 (@lmcgaughy) January 12, 2021
Afterward he told me, “I don’t believe there needs to be testing.” #txlege pic.twitter.com/OJUTIHrtai
Biedermann is no stranger to controversy.
During his election, a photograph surfaced of him at a Halloween party in a “gay Hitler” costume, making a Nazi “sieg heil” salute, based on a Saturday Night Live character. After he was elected, he asked Islamic leaders who requested a meeting at the Capitol to discuss their legislative agenda to fill out a survey on their beliefs, asking if they supported terrorist organizations. Muslim and interfaith groups called the stunt “misleading and intimidating.”
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for his comments made prior to the riot, making him the first president to ever be impeached twice.