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GOP Gov. Chris Sununu says Jan. 6 rioters shouldn’t be pardoned and he doesn’t ‘need’ Trump’s help to get reelected

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

CNN/”State of the Union”

  • New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, said he didn’t need Trump to help his reelection campaign. 
  • He also said, in an interview on CNN, that Jan. 6 rioters shouldn’t be pardoned. 
  • His comments came after former President Trump suggested pardoning those convicted in participating in the Capitol riot. 

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Sunday said those who are convicted of participating in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol should not be pardoned, breaking with former President Donald Trump. 

“Look, the folks that were part of the riots and, frankly, the assault on the US Capitol have to be held accountable,” Sununu said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “There’s a rule of law. I don’t care whether you were part of … burning cities in Antifa in 2020, you were storming the Capitol in 2021,” he said. 

He added, “Everybody needs to be held fairly accountable across. That’s part of leadership.”

Sununu’s remarks come after a speech Trump delivered at a rally in Texas on Saturday in which he said he would consider pardoning individuals convicted related to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. 

“If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly,” Trump said. “And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly.”

More than 760 people have been charged relating to the insurrection, according to Insider’s database. 

CNN anchor Dana Bash asked Sununu on Sunday: “And they shouldn’t be pardoned?”

“Of course not, oh, my goodness, no,” he responded.

Republicans have often attributed acts of violence during the mostly peaceful racial justice protests in the summer of 2020 to the left-wing decentralized activist group Antifa, though there is little evidence to suggest that Antifa-identified individuals were responsible, The Washington Post reported in 2020.

Sununu also said he didn’t “need anyone” to campaign with him when asked if he wanted the former president’s help on the campaign trail for his reelection. 

“I’m a big believer that, as a candidate, you got to stand on your own two feet, you got to look your fellow citizens in the eye, and you got to earn their vote as you, not as endorsements. Endorsements are fine and all that kind of stuff,” he said.

He added: “But, at the end of the day, I’m a big believer, whether you’re running for the planning board, governor or president, you got to look folks in the eye and earn the votes yourself.” 

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