QAnon Shaman says he wanted to 'bring God back into the Senate' during Capitol riot

Jake Angeli and the riot he was a part of.
Jake Angeli and the riot he was a part of. Photo credit: CBS News/Getty

A man known as the 'QAnon Shaman' photographed wearing horns and facepaint inside the US Capitol during the infamous insurrection of January 6, says he thought he was allowed to be there.

And his mother has come to his defence, telling 60 Minutes the US election was stolen and he had a right to be there.

"My actions were not an attack on this country," Jake Angeli - also known as Jacob Chansley - said in an interview from the Virginia prison where he's being held, facing federal charges relating to his part in the storming of the Capitol.

"That is incorrect. That is inaccurate, entirely."

He denies being a part of the violent mob which left five people dead, in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the counting of the US Electoral College votes and prevent election winner Joe Biden being confirmed as President.

"I sang a song. And that's a part of shamanism. It's about - creating positive vibrations in a sacred chamber," he said.

"I also stopped people from stealing and vandalizing that sacred space, the Senate. Okay? I actually stopped somebody from stealing muffins out of the - out of the break room. And I also said a prayer in that sacred chamber. Because it was my intention to bring divinity, and to bring God back into the Senate."

He said he believed he was allowed to be in the Senate because he was "waved in by police officers". 

Jake Angeli.
Jake Angeli. Photo credit: Getty

His mother Martha Chansley mounted a similar defence of her 33-year-old son.

"He went through open doors. He was escorted into the Senate, so I don't know what was wrong with that." 

She said he would "take it back" if could, but at the end of the day, he "walked through open doors" and exercised his "right to free speech". 

Chansley went on to repeat a false claim made several times by former President Donald Trump and his supporters.

"I don't think it's right that [the election] was won fraudulently. I don't believe it was won fairly at all." 

More than 300 people have been charged over their alleged participation in the riot, CBS News reports.  

Angeli has been charged with two felonies and four misdemeanors. He was recognised by law enforcement quite easily - his distinctive tattoos and unique headgear featuring prominently on his Facebook page.

He has expressed regret that Trump didn't pardon him before leaving office.