Rouses co-owner apologizes for attending Trump rally in Washington
BATON ROUGE - Rouses co-owner Donald Rouse Sr. issued a public apology during a radio interview Friday, about two weeks after he was photographed at a pro-Trump protest that ended with rioters inside the U.S. Capitol.
Rouse told WBOK in New Orleans that he exercised "poor judgment" in attending the rally on Jan. 6, which eventually turned violent when protesters stormed the Capitol building and interrupted lawmakers who were in the process of confirming the results of the presidential election.
He said during the interview that he wasn't there to protest the election results but wanted to experience the event firsthand.
"I didn't go over there in support of Trump," Rouse said. "I went over there to hear him speak. I went over there... for history in the making, I guess I would say."
Rouse added that he didn't have a ticket and stayed outside the barricade to watch Trump's speech, reiterating that he left before the protest turned violent. He also said he was one of the few people at the event wearing a mask, making him feel "a little bit out of place."
Actor Wendell Pierce, who was among those calling for a boycott of the store in the wake of the rally, also asked Rouse during the interview whether he thought the 2020 presidential election was "stolen."
"No sir, I do not believe the election was stolen," he said. "I believe Trump was wrong... I'll support Joe Biden for as long as he's president."
NOLA.com reports the businessman also admitted that his son warned him against going to Washington, D.C., adding that he maybe should have listened to him.
WBOK 1230 AM is one of the longest-running Black-owned radio station in the country. Terrebonne Parish NAACP President Jerome Boykin, a friend of Rouse, encouraged him to do the interview with the station.
Boykin said he disagreed with Rouse's decision to attend the rally but that he thinks "it's clear that Mr. Rouse has given back to all communities, including African American community."