On Thursday, WAAY 31 exclusively heard from a man who is a part of the Morgan County Republicans group that traveled to Washington D.C. Wednesday. He saw firsthand what happened at the Capitol.
Tom Fredricks, a treasurer for the Morgan County Republicans, said some people in the organization traveled to D.C. for the Stop the Steal Rally, which he says was peaceful. Fredricks says the actions of a few who may have come with bad intentions is what caused the chaos most of us witnessed yesterday.
"I felt completely safe in a town I might not normally feel safe in being surrounded by patriotic Americans," he said.
Fredricks said he never expected the chaos that ensued afterwards.
"None of us, at least within our group and any of the people I talked to, felt like we were compelled in any way to go into the Capitol. Nothing that was said during the rally," he said. "What Trump said, what Mo said, all of that, nothing encouraged us to say, 'hey guys, we should go storm through the Capitol and break through the security systems and violate the Capitol police,'" Fredricks said.
Fredricks said he doesn't agree with rioters who did decide to go inside the Capitol.
"They crossed a line, they crossed a huge line," he said.
But, he said their actions were not representative of the many who traveled to D.C.
"The people who were intent on causing mayhem succeeded. The vast majority of the people that were here were not a part of that action," he said.
Fredricks told WAAY 31 he still feels like it was a rewarding experience and the message they came down there to get across was heard loud and clear.
The FBI is looking to identify any individuals who instigated the violence at the Capitol. As of right now, there is no indication if they believe any outside groups were involved.