Gonell, who was beaten with a flagpole during the melee and had his foot seriously damaged while also sustaining shoulder injuries, was asked at Tuesday's hearing by the select committee investigating the riot about Trump's comment.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming – one of two Republicans serving on the panel after a spat between Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked the battered police officer about the former president's language.
Cheney has become a Trump nemesis since her vote to impeach him after the riot.
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U.S. Capitol Police Officer Aquilino Gonell was asked at Tuesday's select committee hearing about President Trump referring to those who marched to the Capitol Jan. 6 as a 'loving crowd'
'When you think about that and share with us the vivid memory of the cruelty and the violence of the assault that day and then you hear former President Trump say quote 'It was a loving crowd. There was a lot of love in the crowd,' How does that make you feel?' Cheney asked him.
Trump had made the comment in a new book, I Alone Can Fix It.
'It's upsetting. It's a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create — this monstrosity. I'm still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day, that he claimed that so many rioters, terrorists who were assullting us that day. 'If that was hugs and kisses, we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him,' he continued.
'To me, it's insulting, it's demoralizing, because everything that we did was to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt.'
Continuing to go at Trump, Gonell, who served in Iraq before joining the Capitol Police, said: 'What he was doing, instead of sending the military, instead of sending the support or telling his people – his supporters – to stop this nonsense, he egged them to continue fighting.'
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) questioned the officer about Trump's comment. Trump has repeatedly gone after her after she voted for the second Trump impeachment after the riot
Trump referred to the 'loving crowd' in comments recorded for the new book, 'I Alone Can Fix It'Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
President Donald Trump shortly before his supporters breached the Capitol on Jan. 6th
Gonell, who immigrated from the Dominican Republic, also testified that he received racial slurs from the crowd.
He called the rioters 'vicious and relentless.'
He also tore into the narrative floated by some Trump backers that the riot was a false flag operation rather than being perpetrated by thousands who adorned themselves in pro-Trump gear.
He was on the lower west terrorist. 'All of them told us: Trump sent us,' he said.
'It was not Antifa, it was not Black Lives Matter, it was not the FBI. It was his supporters that he sent over to the Capitol that day,' he said of Trump. 'He could have done a lot of things. One is to tell them to stop.'
'He talks about sacrificing, sacrifices. The only thing he has sacrificed is the institutions of the country and the country only for his ego ... because he wants the job, but he doesn't want to do the job. That's a shame on himself.'
During later questioning, he described injuries sustained to his foot – and an image of his battered foot was shown as evidence of the violence he sustained after someone in the crowd through a loudspeaker in his direction.
A photo of U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell's foot is displayed as Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., asks questions about injuries sustained by police officers during the riot, during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Capitol cops and DC Metropolitan Police officers called rioters 'terrorists', attacked Republicans who have downplayed January 6 and recalled the 'medieval battle' they faced during the first hearing of the select committee on Tuesday.
Officers Harry Dunn, Aquilino Gonell, Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges gave harrowing testimony to the panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans - Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger - describing how they feared the rioters would kill them and criticized the treatment of their colleagues.
They also told the panel how they were confronted by people waving MAGA flags, Trump supporters saying President Biden didn't win the election, and others racially abusing them.
Dunn said he was