Former President Trump attacked the work of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at a rally supporting several candidates in Arizona on Friday. 

Trump held a rally in Prescott Valley to support his endorsed candidate for governor, Kari Lake, and his endorsed candidate for Senate, Blake Masters. During his speech, he said he was watching the committee’s most recent hearing on Thursday, which focused on Trump’s actions as the riot took place at the Capitol building, and called it a “hoax.” 

Trump also denied testimony that Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, gave to the committee last month. 

Hutchinson said Tony Ornato, Trump’s deputy chief of staff at the time, told her about an incident in the presidential vehicle on Jan. 6 in which Trump became heated when he was told he could not go to the Capitol following his speech at the Ellipse that day. She said Ornato told her that Trump attempted to grab the steering wheel of the vehicle and lunged at a Secret Service agent. 

Hutchinson testified that Robert Engel, the agent that Trump allegedly lunged at, was present when Ornato told her of the incident and Engel did not dispute any details. 

Trump denied Hutchinson’s account, saying he would not have done that and could not physically have. He praised the Secret Service for denying the account. 

Ornato and Engel have said they would be willing to testify to dispute Hutchinson’s testimony on the incident. 

But the House Jan. 6 committee showed additional witnesses at its hearing on Thursday that seem to support Hutchinson’s testimony. 

For 20-year-old Yash Teli, memory is a curse. When he closes his eyes, he can see his father’s bloodied body lying in the street, his throat slit.

Sitting in a room full of mourners on a recent afternoon in Udaipur, India, next to a large photograph of his father that was draped with a garland of roses, he was reminded of the blood. 

“I don’t want to remember him like that,” he said as his mother’s wails could be heard from another room. “How will I ever sleep now?”

Udaipur, a city of about 600,000 in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, has been a tinderbox since the gruesome slaying last month of Yash’s father, Kanhaiya Lal Teli, a Hindu tailor. In a video posted online by his attackers, identified by police as two local Muslims, the elder Teli can be seen in his shop measuring a man who then attacks him with a cleaver, joined by the man filming. They later accused the tailor of insulting Islam.

The killing shocked people across India, a majority-Hindu country of 1.4 billion, where religious violence is more often aimed at Muslims amid rising discrimination experts say is fueled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shamseer Ibrahim, a 36-year-old Muslim activist, said that state endorsement of anti-Muslim violence was damaging the democratic and secular values of India, whose long history of interreligious co-existence has been punctuated by bloody outbreaks of strife.

“Under the Modi regime, the spirit of the Indian Constitution is being diminished,” he said in a phone interview. “A very dangerous future awaits Indian society.”

“I realized that there is no democracy in India. It is ruled by Islamists,” he said in anguish, a statement at odds with the fact that Hindu nationalists are in power. “They don’t have a right to live. Cruel people like them should be killed.”

“Us and them” attitudes are nothing new in India, which has long struggled with religious, ethnic and linguistic divisions. But critics say that under Modi and the BJP, the conflict between Hindus and Muslims — who make up about 14 percent of the population and constitute the third-largest Muslim population in the world — has taken a violent turn toward “us versus them.”

“There are organized forces that are riling prejudices and instigating Hindus against Muslims,” said Apoorvanand, a political commentator and professor of Hindi at the University of Delhi who goes by one name. “The BJP’s entire politics surround this: to divide the nation permanently.”

Modi and his party have not commented in the past when Muslims were killed in communal violence. But after Kanhaiya Lal’s killing, they criticized the government of Rajasthan, which is controlled by the opposition Congress party, saying it was on the way to becoming “a Talibani state.”

“The appeasement of Muslims by Congress has increased the audacity of the jihadis to such an extent that they are openly killing Hindus and threatening the prime minister,” Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, a BJP member of Parliament from Rajasthan, said at a news conference last month.

Yash Teli, left, next to his slain father’s photo with a relative at his home in Udaipur this month.Yashraj Sharma

‘They don’t have a right to live’

Yash was in the Udaipur market the evening of June 28 when he got a phone call from his cousin: “They have done it. They killed him.”

India, a regional power growing closer to the United States, had been tense for weeks after two top BJP officials made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, the ancient founder of Islam, and his wife Aisha. The remarks drew protests across the country and diplomatic outrage from the Muslim world, leading Modi and the BJP to distance themselves from the officials.

Days before he was brutally killed, Kanhaiya Lal, 46, was briefly detained by local police who accused him of “hurting religious sentiments” by expressing support online for the anti-Islamic remarks by the BJP officials. In a second video posted after the killing, his attackers cited his social media comments, which the tailor had later deleted. They also threatened a similar attack against Modi.

Police have identified the assailants as Ghaus Mohammad and Riyaz Akhtari, both residents of Udaipur. The two men are in the custody of the National Investigation Agency, India’s premier anti-terrorism task force, and have been charged under the country’s anti-terrorism law. NBC News was unable to reach their attorneys or ascertain whether they had entered any plea.

DeSantis is yet again raising 2024 rumors with his appearance at the Student Action Summit held by right-wing group Turning Point USA – where former President Donald Trump is slated to speak just a day later.

The governor devoted a significant portion of his address to Republicans’ bid to win Congress in November’s midterm elections while also hammering Biden for inflation and the border crisis – a decidedly national politics-focused message for an official who has shrugged off White House ambitions but not explicitly ruled them out.

‘If we get that red wave in the House and in the Senate, and Republicans have majorities, here’s what I think we as voters want to see – we want to see you do something with those majorities,’ DeSantis said.

‘We want to see you hold [Biden] and his ilk accountable for what they’re doing at the southern border.’

He further fueled 2024 buzz by attacking California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is widely seen as a potential Democratic contender should Biden not run again.

‘We believe every parent in the state of Florida has a right to send their little kid to elementary school without having radical gender ideology injected into the curriculum. It is totally inappropriate to take some six year old kid and to say, well, “You may have been born a boy, but maybe you’re really a girl.” That is wrong and may fly in California but it does not fly here in the state of Florida’, DeSantis said.

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