ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- In his first interview with News 4 since the events of January 6, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley reiterated his confidence in his decision to contest the results of the presidential election, while also decrying the actions of the Capitol rioters.
"I certainly stand by what I did," Hawley said when asked about his public promise to challenge the election results. "What I said all along was that my goal was to raise the concerns of my constituents in the only forum that I had to do that as a part of this process."
Hawley emphasized he has been consistent that he only intended to raise concerns over the voting systems, specifically in Pennsylvania, and that his singling out of January 6 was because that is the final day of the electoral process. He said he never intended to overthrow the election results.
"It was never what I was aiming to do," he said. "I had no power to change the outcome even if I wanted to, and I didn't."
Leading up to the events of January 6, a large faction of the radical online community QAnon supported Hawley's public promise to oppose the election results. A widely-circulated photo of Hawley fist-pumping to Capitol protesters sparked questions about his support of the group that eventually stormed the Capitol, which included many QAnon members.
However Wednesday, the senator unequivocally said he does not support QAnon and doesn't give any credence to their conspiracy theories.
"No. Zero. I still don't know what they are, I don't care to know. It seems like a bunch of whackos, extremists to me," he said.
Hawley also condemned the actions of the Capitol rioters, saying what he was doing was within the bound of governmental process, and was not the same as what those who stormed the Capitol did.
"Let me just say that the whole reason the laws of the United States provide for debate during the certification process is so that we don't have the kind of criminal, lawless violence we saw on that day. Those people, those rioters, those criminals who came to the Capitol and tried to stop the certification process should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law," he said.
However, in the wake of the riots, Hawley's choice to make himself the most public voice in the fight against election results ended up costing him political capital and affecting his plans outside of office.
Publishing house Simon & Schuster announced they would drop the senator's book 'The Tyranny of Big Tech,' "After witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, D.C."
He also lost the support of his longtime mentor and most ardent supporter, former Senator John Danforth, who said supporting Hawley's run for the Senate was the 'worst mistake' of his life. Hawley said he has not spoken to Donald Trump since he left office, and emphatically said he does not have any plans to run for president.