Photo from Deputy’s response video

On the morning of Jan. 9, a screenshot of a Facebook post circulated showing singer-songwriter Zach Deputy among the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday (Jan. 6). The screenshot shows a comment posted by Deputy’s older brother Whitney, which contained a selfie of the two of them outside the Capitol building, with Deputy wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat. Deputy has since responded to the photo with a video on his own Facebook page, in which he admitted that he attended the rally and explains why he did so. View the circulating screenshot here.

In his nearly 10-minute response video, Deputy explained that he believes in the thoroughly debunked theory that the election results that show President-elect Joe Biden as the winner were tampered with and are not legitimate, which led to his desire to go to the Capitol.

“It is my opinion that there was a lot–and I mean a lot–of evidence that would suggest that our vote was tampered with,” the singer-songwriter said. “That vote being fair is the foundation of what makes this country real and truthful.” 

“I went to Washington DC to stand by that to let my presence known, that a lot of people don’t believe that this election was fair, and it was rigged,” he continued. “The truth is going to come out.”

Deputy also criticized the reaction to his attendance. Early on in the video, he said, “If you support a candidate, you’re going to have people lying about you, going and creating defamation of character and trying to get you kicked out of all your jobs.” 

Later, after explaining his reasoning for going to D.C., Deputy doubled down on his critique of the response to his attendance. “Now, because I stood with the president and I put on his hat because I believe he was the true winner and I didn’t want to see this country go down a path where they’re cheating elections, people have started labeling me all kinds of stuff. ‘Racist,’ ‘bigot,’ you know, the normal ones. When they don’t agree with you, they just call you these things.” 

Deputy later distanced himself from those who ultimately stormed and defaced the Capitol. “I was there at the Capitol, but I am one-hundred percent against rioting against the police,” he said. “I was one hundred percent, then that day, against storming into the Capitol building. I didn’t even get to the steps of the Capitol building.” He went on to claim that “the vast majority” of those there on Wednesday shared his feelings against storming the Capitol and inciting riots.

Deputy then made a call for “unity” in the United States. “What I want for this country is I want unity, unity between all races, unity between all people. I want people to get along and think different,” he said. “We’re all different, we all have different opinions.” He then used this line of argument to again criticize those who condemned his attendance at the rally. “When you hear a different opinion and you just start yelling ‘racist,’ ‘bigot’… then you’re not open for any thought. If you have a valid standpoint… present it with love and kindness. And if people don’t take it in, dust off your feet and go to the next place, it’s okay.” 

Toward the end of the video, Deputy revealed that he doesn’t identify with either major political party. “My motivation for going down to Washington was to support my country, both the left and the right,” he said. “I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat. I don’t believe in the two-winged-bird system; I think it’s a bunch of crap.”

He continued, “My motivation for what I’m doing is love. I’m doing it because I love my country and I love my family, and I want my daughter to grow up in a place that’s free. If we don’t have a transparent election, all that stuff’s gone.”

There is no evidence that the 2020 election was fraudulent. The Brennan Center for Justice, a bipartisan law and public policy institute (that is seen as liberal in its positions) stated that “by all measures, the 2020 general election was one of the most secure elections in our history.” Meanwhile, less than an hour before Trump supporters who attended the “Stop The Steal” rally stormed the Capitol, Senator Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to rebuke Trump’s efforts to overturn the election result. “The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken,” McConnell said on Wednesday. “If we overrule them all, it would damage our republic forever.” 

In the wee hours of next morning, Thursday, Jan. 7, Congress voted to confirm the election results and Vice President Mike Pence announced President-elect Joe Biden as the winner. Just moments later, President Trump, who had said on Wednesday at the “Stop The Steal” rally that he would “never concede,” released a statement saying that “there would be an orderly transition on Jan. 20.” 

The comment by Whitney Deputy showing him and Zach at the rally has been deleted. The original post under which it appeared, a photo from the middle of the rally with the Capitol in the background and published by Whitney to his Facebook page, remains up

Watch Deputy’s full response below.