By Andrew Kaczynski, Em Steck and Drew Myers, CNN
A conservative YouTuber who participated in the January 6 riot accompanied Republican members of Congress on a trip to the border Tuesday night, serving as a translator at times.
Anthony Aguero, a close ally of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene can be seen in videos and photos with Republican members of Congress who traveled to a route along the border frequented by migrants on Tuesday night. CNN’s KFile previously reported that Aguero went into the Capitol during the January 6 riot and cheered and justified the break-in.
During his livestream of the Tuesday visit, Aguero interviewed and chatted with Reps. Tom. Tiffany of Wisconsin, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Chris Jacobs of New York, Michael Cloud of Texas, John Rose of Tennessee, Ronny Jackson of Texas, and Mary Miller of Illinois.
“Hi guys, Congressman Hawthorn is behind me,” Aguero tells viewers during his livestream, mispronouncing Cawthorn’s last name. “That is freaking awesome. That is freaking awesome. I’ll tell you that.”
Aguero told his viewers that the Border Patrol was “herding” immigrants crossing the border into a particular location, saying, “We’re about to catch them all as they basically come out of the woodworks.”
In a statement, Aguero told CNN, “I appreciate the Congressmen and Congresswomen that went out of their way to come to the Border to see the crisis for themselves.” He did not answer questions regarding how he was at the border with members of Congress.
Aguero has not been charged for unlawful entry at the US Capitol on January 6. After chanting “heave-ho” as rioters attempted to break in, he entered the Capitol Rotunda and later chanted “our house” on the Capitol steps. In a livestream one day after the Capitol riot, he attacked those who condemned the ransacking of the Capitol. The FBI previously declined to comment on whether it was investigating Aguero in an email to CNN.
The trip to the border in La Joya, Texas, was organized by the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative members of the House of Representatives, and covered by reporters from CNN, Politico, The Hill, and members of conservative media.
The members were visiting ahead of former President Donald Trump’s visit to the border on Wednesday. Aguero sat in the audience directly behind the former President on Wednesday night during Trump’s appearance on Hannity.
It’s not clear how Aguero joined the group Tuesday night, as he was not at the press briefing prior to the trip that was attended by reporters, according to a photo and a CNN reporter present. He was already in the area as the members of Congress arrived.
Buckley Carlson, the RSC’s deputy communications director, said Aguero’s presence at the border was “purely incidental.”
“Chairman (Jim) Banks never spoke to the individual in question, the Republican Study Committee was unaware of his identity and whereabouts on January 6, and he did not travel with our group to the border,” Carlson said in a statement to CNN.
Aguero, who told members of Congress he was there as an “independent journalist” with Border Network News, posted a lengthy livestream on his YouTube channel in which he is seen interviewing and sometimes translating conversations with migrants for Reps. Boebert, Tiffany, August Pfluger of Texas, and Randy Weber of Texas.
In one instance, Aguero drove Weber in his truck after the congressman missed his van.
“Come right in the front, Congressman,” said Aguero, chuckling. “You can ride in the front with me.” Aguero also posed for a photo with Boebert at the end of his broadcast.
Aguero previously ran in the Republican primary for Congress in 2020 for Texas’ 16th Congressional District, which encompasses most of El Paso and the surrounding suburbs, but lost.
The videographer, who sometimes goes by the moniker “Conservative Anthony” online, frequently documents migrants along the US-Mexico border and the activities of right-wing activists and militias, including the Guardian Patriots, the border militia group formerly known as the United Constitutional Patriots, and the Proud Boys.
In one disturbing clip filmed by Aguero in April 2019 that appears in the PBS documentary “Targeting El Paso,” Aguero can be heard screaming at migrants crossing the border and seen shining a light on migrants’ faces. In the clip, Aguero tells a group of migrants they “come out like roaches, out of everywhere.” According to PBS, the clip was viewed 160,000 times before Aguero deleted it from Facebook.
He also has a history of criminal violence, according to online court records. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor family violence assault causing serious bodily injury. In 2015, he was convicted of felony vehicular assault while intoxicated and sentenced to two years in Texas state prison.
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