Trump Allies Call Report of Ray Epps Losing Business, Family 'Propaganda'

Allies and supporters of former President Donald Trump accused The New York Times of "lying" and spreading "propaganda" after the prominent newspaper on Wednesday published an article about Ray Epps.

The Times interviewed Epps at length for the article and discussed claims that he was working for the FBI and part of a plot by the law enforcement agency to orchestrate the events of January 6, 2021. In the article, which described such claims as a "conspiracy theory," Epps explained how he's faced substantial backlash since January 6. He said that he was forced to sell his business, was disowned by members of his family and that he and his wife moved due to safety concerns.

Theories about Epps emerged after multiple videos surfaced showing him on January 5 and 6 urging Trump supporters in Washington, D.C., to go to the U.S. Capitol and enter the building. In one clip from January 5, he said that Trump's supporters should enter the federal legislative building but should remain peaceful. In another video from January 6, Epps is seen directing people in the direction of the Capitol before the violence began.

"The NYT can't lie about Ray Epps and call it a conspiracy theory when Ray Epps is on video organizing the events of J6 that has led to the worst federal government abuse of power in American history. @nytimes this isn't freedom of press, it's lying. You aren't protected to lie," wrote Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican and staunch Trump supporter.

Greene—according to Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump's former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows—asked for a presidential pardon after the events of January 6.

January 6, 2021
Allies and supporters of former President Donald Trump have accused The New York Times of "lying" and "spreading propaganda" after the newspaper published an article about Ray Epps in regard to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Above, Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Representative Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, dismissed the Times article as well.

"Propaganda," Massie wrote, retweeting the Twitter post by the article's author, Alan Feuer, sharing the article on Wednesday.

On Gettr, right-wing strategist Steve Bannon, who served as chief executive of Turmp's 2016 campaign and for several months in the White House in 2017, contended that the Times was providing "air-cover" for Epps.

"NYT provides air-cover for Ray Epps—you read and decide," Bannon wrote, sharing a link to the article.

Political commentator Mike Cernovich tweeted: "The New York Times published a glowing profile of Ray Epps. Come on regime propagandists, don't you know how to be slightly more subtle."

Meanwhile, Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who serves on the House select committee investigating the January 6 violence, shared the article Wednesday and slammed Republicans who have previously spread the unproven theories about Epps.

"I suggest ⁦@RepMTG ⁦@tedcruz ⁦@RepThomasMassie and others read this," Kinzinger wrote on Twitter, tagging Greene, Massie and Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican. "They spread this false conspiracy... own your actions," he added.

In addition to the videos of Epps, some Trump supporters have questioned why he was never indicted for his actions on January 6 while hundreds of others have faced charges. Some on the political right have argued and continue to claim that the FBI, potentially with the help of Epps, organized the riot in a bid to crack down on conservatives. Prominent Republican leaders have asserted, however, that this allegation is baseless.

"I am at the center of this thing, and it's the biggest farce that's ever been," Epps told the Times. "It's just not right. The American people are being led down a path. I think it should be criminal."

Epps said that he contacted the FBI as soon as he knew he was a person of interest in their investigation. He said he's been fully cooperative with the authorities and that he and his wife are also searching for a lawyer to help them sue several right-wing figures for defamation.

Newsweek reached out to The New York Times for comment.