- The Publix grocery chain heiress was a key funder of the “Save America” rally, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- At the event, Trump told supporters to “fight like hell.” Some of them stormed the Capitol.
- Conspiracy theorist and host Alex Jones also contributed money to the rally, The WSJ reported.
The heiress to the Publix Super Market chain contributed the “lion’s share” of money to fund the January 6 pro- Trump rally in Washington DC that preceded the deadly storming of the US Capitol, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a top donor to former President Donald Trump, gave about $300,000 to the “Save America” rally – more than half the cost of funding the event, the Journal said.
Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist and far-right talk show host, arranged for Fancelli to contribute the money via an official from Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, the newspaper said. Jones himself contributed about $50,000 in seed money for the January 6 rally, Journal said.
The group then descended on the US Capitol, pushing past police and scaling walls in an attempt to stop President Joe Biden’s electoral college certification. Five people died in the siege.
The “Save America” rally was marked by incendiary rhetoric, but as the Journal notes, was otherwise peaceful. However, Trump has been blamed for using the rally to stoke the assault on the Capitol.
Fancelli, the daughter of the Publix Super Markets founder, donated more than $980,000 to a joint account for Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican Party, the Journal notes.
Neither Fancelli or Jones responded to the Wall Street Journal’s requests for comment.
In an emailed statement to Insider, a spokesperson from Publix said “Mrs. Fancelli is not an employee of Publix Super Markets, and is neither involved in our business operations, nor does she represent the company in any way. We cannot comment on Mrs. Fancelli’s actions.”
“The violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was a national tragedy. The deplorable actions that occurred that day do not represent the values, work or opinions of Publix Super Markets,” the statement said.
The popular Southern grocery chain has more than 1,200 locations, with the bulk of them in Florida. Founded in 1930 in by George W. Jenkins, the company has grown into the largest employee-owned company in the US.