Kevin Haag, 67, a retired landscaper from North Carolina who ascended the Capitol steps as the crowd surged forward, said he did not go inside and disapproved of those who did. Even so, he said he would never forget the sense of empowerment as he looked down over thousands of protesters. It felt so good, he said, to show people: “We are here. See us! Notice us! Pay attention!”
Now, back home after several days of reflection, Mr. Haag, an evangelical Christian, wonders whether he went too far. “Should I get down on my knees and ask for forgiveness?” Mr. Haag said in an interview. “I am asking myself that question.”
But the experience seemed to have only hardened the resolve of others. Couy Griffin, 47, a Republican county commissioner from New Mexico, spoke of organizing another Capitol rally soon — one that could result in “blood running out of that building” — in a video he later posted to the Facebook page of his group, Cowboys for Trump.
“At the end of the day, you mark my word, we will plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer,” he said. He paused before adding: “And Donald J. Trump if it boils down to it.”