YouTube deletes Post’s Capitol riot interview with Aaron Mostofsky

YouTube deletes Post's Capitol riot interview with Aaron Mostofsky

Ahead of a primetime congressional hearing on last year’s Capitol riot, YouTube on Monday deleted The Post’s widely circulated interview with fur-clad rioter Aaron Mostofsky — saying the Brooklyn judge’s son spouted “misinformation.”

The Justice Department cited the interview in its case against Mostofsky, 35, who was sentenced to eight months behind bars last month for his role in the riot. It was one of the only professional interviews conducted inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as a wild mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters disrupted the certification of the 2020 election.

“We realize this may be disappointing news, but it’s our job to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for all,” the Google-owned platform said in a Monday night notice of removal.

“Content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the US 2020 presidential election is not allowed on YouTube.”

The policy on election-related claims appears to be unevenly enforced. For example, footage remains available on YouTube of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton claiming that the 2016 election was “stolen” and that Trump was an “illegitimate president.”

Aaron Mostofsky
Mostofsky (right) was sentenced to eight months behind bars last month for his role in the riot.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

The interview with Mostofsky, published 17 months ago to the personal channel of a Post reporter, was clearly labeled as a journalistic product and the description field specified that the interview was with The Post, with a link to the newspaper’s reporting. 

Footage from the riot featured prominently in the 2021 Senate impeachment trial of Trump for allegedly inciting the violence, and it may again feature in the Thursday primetime hearing put on by the Democrat-led House select committee investigating the mayhem.

Mostofsky, the son of Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Steven Mostofsky, was wearing a police vest and holding a riot shield outside the Senate chamber when he agreed to be interviewed.

Aaron Mostofsky
The interview with Mostofsky was posted 17 months ago.

He was among the first wave of rioters to breach the building, which sent Vice President Mike Pence, legislators and most journalists fleeing to secure locations.

Mostofsky, standing feet from the main doorway to the Senate, claimed he “found” the police supplies he was wearing and that he joined the mob because the election was “stolen.”

Prosecutors later revealed that he wore his bizarre fur-pelt costume to demonstrate that “even a caveman knows [the election] was stolen.”

Aaron Mostofsky
Mostofsky said he “found” police supplies that he was seen wearing during the riot.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

“Can you tell me what you’re doing here today?” the interview begins.

“Well, to express my opinion as a free American, my belief that this election was stolen. We were cheated. I don’t think 75 million people voted for Trump, I think it was close to 85 million. I think certain states that had been blue for a long time had been red and were stolen like New York,” Mostofsky said.

“And where did you travel from?” The Post asked.

“Brooklyn,” Mostofsky said.

“Can you tell me anything about the shield here?” The Post followed up.

“The shield? Found it on the floor. I found a cap and I gave it to the cops because it may be someone’s personal thing. This [shield], I have no idea. There’s no name. They probably just grab it. Looks like it’s been used a lot,” the rioter said.

“Should senators be afraid? Should House members be afraid?” The Post asked as Mostofsky’s compatriots smashed up the historic building.

“They shouldn’t be afraid,” he replied. “They should find their courage to do their duty … to examine the fraud, maybe delay the election. I don’t know what to do. But we have a Constitution. You don’t rewrite the law because of COVID. It’s not ‘Give me liberty or give me death, but COVID.’”

The video had roughly 200,000 views when it was purged. It remains available through The Post’s internal video player, but YouTube is the world’s leading video platform and its removal makes it more difficult to access.

Google, which owns YouTube, did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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