The Trump Circus
Keeps Plugging Along
The circus was back in town on Saturday when former president trump rolled out the same lame lies at a rally in Arizona where he had nothing new to say but he did introduce us to the latest in a band of otherwise totally unsavory, regrettable and unforgettable characters who are part of the trump circus caravan.
Without Gen. Bone Spurs, it’s likely few would have heard of such great Arizonians as state Sen. Wendy Rogers, Kari Lake, Mark Finchem, U.S. Sen. Paul Gosar, and state Sen. Kelly Townsend, all who cling to the altogether absurd belief that trump really won the 2020 presidential election.
Another great Arizona citizen, Jake Angeli, Richard Barnett of Arkansas and Pennsylvania woman Riley June Williams also owe the wannabe dictator a great thanks for their moments of fame.
And now we have the latest member of the nut entourage, Nathan Wayne Entrekin, who likens himself to the Mormon Angel Moroni and also owes his fleeting fame to trump and who, otherwise would have been buried in the dustbin of history, and may still find a place there.
The Cottonwood, Ariz., man put on his best gladiator costume when he joined in the Jan. 6, 2021, raid on the U.S. Capitol. He claimed he was so clothed to remind all of Captain Moroni, a figure from the Book of Mormon. Entrekin pleaded guilty last week to a federal misdemeanor charge.
Entrekin marched onward through the capitol with his costume, complete with red cape, black studded bands and a gold headband, although he exposed his more current appearance as his legs and denim shorts could be seen underneath. While parading, Entrekin carried a pole with a white banner attached to it that read, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.”
That slogan was the battle cry of Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon. His followers executed anyone who did not believe in that phrase nor prize democracy over tyranny. Prosecutors said that Entrekin posted on his Twitter page on Dec. 31, 2020: “Hey Patriots! Captain Moroni is coming to DC on Jan 6. Yay!”
According to the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni was an important Nephite military commander who lived during the first century BC. He is described as a righteous and skilled military commander who was known for his extensive preparations for battle and his fierce defense of the right of the Nephites to govern themselves and worship as they saw fit. Hardly the definition of Entrekin.
It was not the first time that Captain Moroni was referenced in the same breath as trump. On Oct. 28, 2020, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who also is a Latter-day Saint, compared trump to Captain Moroni. Lee told rallygoers at the time, “To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni.” Lee said that the president “seeks not the praise of the world” and wants only “the well-being and peace of the American people.”
Cliven Bundy, an anti-government activist and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, also frequently made references to the Book of Mormon in his conflicts with the U.S. government. During the Bundy family’s 2014 occupation of federally owned lands in Nevada, Bundy used banners quoting Moroni, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.”
In 2016, Cliven’s son, Ammon, used much of the same language as his father, “mixing Mormon religious symbolism with a disgust of the federal government,” during an occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One member of Bundy’s anti-government extremist group refused to give any other name to the press than “Captain Moroni, from Utah.” He was later identified as 34-year-old Dylan Wade Anderson.
Entrekin admitted to parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol. He could face, under the plea agreement, a maximum sentence of six months in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for April.
The faux gladiator spent about 13 minutes in the Capitol and took a series of selfies and videos in his regalia, all included in the FBI criminal complaint. Entrekin was among at least 10 Arizonans who were charged for their actions during the raid on the Capitol.
During an interview with FBI agents, he showed photos and videos from the attacks.
“I’m here, Mom!” he said in one video, according to prosecutors.
Another equally foul Arizona man, Jake Angeli, AKA “QAnon Shaman,” got national attention when he walked through the Capitol and briefly took the U.S. Senate dais while wearing a fur hat with horns, face paint and shirtless, showing off elaborate tattoos on his chest. Angeli was sentenced to 41-months in prison in November.
Still awaiting sentencing for their parts in the abortive Capitol insurrection are Riley “Nazi Girl” Williams and Richard “Feet on the Desk” Barnett.
Williams was accused of stealing a laptop used by the staff of Nancy Pelosi during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Published reports show her to be an apparent member of a neo-Nazi chatroom, and a video Williams made before Jan. 6, shows her giving the “Heil Hitler” salute.
Barnett is the man who was photographed smiling and sitting with his foot up in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the insurrection. Barnett is facing one felony count of bringing a dangerous weapon into the Capitol, a stun device shaped like a walking stick and two misdemeanor counts for violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and theft of government property. In an interview with the N.Y. Times, after leaving the capitol, Barnett said he wrote Pelosi “a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk, and scratched my balls.”
Others who shined under the trumpian spotlight in Arizona included Sen. Wendy Rogers, who lead the crowd at the rally on a “Decertify” chant, calling for trump’s reinstatement to the White House. Rogers is a member of the Oath Keepers militia and she has supported the white supremacist Great Replacement conspiracy theory, that claims the nation is being overrun by people of color to take power away from white Americans. She also has appeared on a webcast that promotes hate speech and in October 2021, Rogers spoke at a QAnon-linked political conference in Las Vegas.
Kari Lake, who also has championed trump as the true 2020 presidential winner, has trump’s backing in her run for governor. During her campaign, she called for imprisoning Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs on baseless and unspecified allegations of criminality related to the 2020 election. Lake also has been endorsed by Gosar, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and conspiracist, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
Mark Finchem is trump’s candidate to replace a Democratic election official who refused to certify trump as winner of the Arizona presidential election. Finchem was with a group of demonstrators outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 as rioters tried to stop the certification of the 2020 election. Finchem is a member of the Arizona House of Representatives and several far-right organizations, including the militia group Oath Keepers and has espoused the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Gosar is one of the staunchest trumpers and was censured in the Senate for posting an animated video online that depicted him killing a Democratic congresswoman and assaulting President Biden.
State Sen. Kelly Townsend has declared that imposing mandatory vaccinations was “communist.” She supports the “Stop the Steal” movement which falsely claimed that trump won the election nationally and in Arizona. Townsend also supported legislation that would require voters in Arizona who vote by mail to include identification paperwork along with their ballots.