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'We were wrong': Jan. 6 rioter with Arizona ties tells FBI his story

Daniel Rodriguez, 39, told FBI agents "Trump called us" as he was explaining how he allegedly ended up at the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The Jan. 6 Capitol rioter who allegedly assaulted a police officer told investigators, "Trump called us to D.C" as he was questioned about his motives for storming the halls of Congress. 

Daniel Rodriguez, a California resident with ties to Arizona, is facing criminal charges for assaulting Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone as rioters were attempting to get inside the Capitol and overturn the 2020 election results. 

In an interview with FBI agents on March 31, Rodriguez said he had thought their actions in going to the Capitol were noble and patriotic. 

"We thought we were saving the country," he told the agents, "I thought I was helping to save the country."

RELATED: Officers hurt in Jan. 6 insurrection to receive 12 months of care at Walter Reed Military Medical Center

Rodriguez's interview was recently made public through court records that were filed in his pending criminal case. 

According to a transcript of the interview, Rodriguez said he was a devoted supporter of former President Donald Trump and became interested in conservative politics after following Alex Jones' InfoWars website.

"I was trying to find the truth and answers," Rodriguez told the agents.

Rodriguez claimed he wasn't sure what would happen on Jan. 6, when a large mob interrupted a joint session of Congress. 

"I didn't know what was going to happen," he said, "I'm not a leader of anybody."

RELATED: Jury convicts Arizona man for threatening to kill Nancy Pelosi

When asked by the agents how he ended up in Washington, Rodriguez said, “Trump called us. Trump called us to D.C.”

Rodriguez described the moment he allegedly shot a taser at Officer Fanone during the riot. Fanone later recalled pleading for his life as rioters threatened to shoot him with his own gun. 

“I just came up to the steps again, and I saw them pulling him out, and I tased him,” a transcript of Rodriguez's interview states. 

According to the transcript, Rodriguez got emotional during the interview and expressed remorse for allegedly hurting Fanone.

"I'm sorry. I don't know. He's a human being with children, and he's not a bad guy. He sounds like he's just doing his job and he's -- I'm an asshole," the transcript states. 

Rodriguez told the agents he expected a "big battle" to occur on Jan. 6.

“My story is just that we thought that we were going to save America, and we were wrong,” the defendant said in court records. 

Since the Jan. 6 insurrection, federal authorities have arrested more than 675 individuals in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 210 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. 

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